The Ministry of Health has maintained that health workers who are currently working as volunteers will be given first priority in the recruitment of the 11,200 health personnel.
The Zambia Medical Association last week expressed displeasure over the government’s plans to give first priority to health personnel who are currently working as volunteers in health facilities.
Ministry Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Professor Luckson Kasonka says it will be illogical and unfair for the government to ignore people who are already working in various facilities because their skills are far better than those who have no experience in health sector.
Professor Kasonka has explained that there are many qualified health personnel who were engaged by the previous government but were not put on payroll due to a lack of resources.
The decision by the government to prioritize volunteers in the recruitment of health personnel has angered the Zambia Medical Association.
Recently, Health minister Sylvia Masebo stated that government would prioritize individuals volunteering in health facilities in the recruitment of 11,000 health personnel.
But Zambia Medical Association General Secretary Kaumba Roy Tolopu said doctors would not allow the government to arm-twist them in providing free service by taking the approach of prioritizing volunteers in the recruitment process of the health personnel’s.
Dr. Tolopu said ZMA found the expectation from the government that medical personnel worked and risked their lives without protection and remuneration to be unreasonable. He said Doctors were a precious resource, and the Government needed to immediately recognize them as such.
Dr. Tolopu has appealed to the government to expedite the process of promotions and recruitment of healthcare professionals, to address the huge human resource deficit in healthcare delivery
“In order to put the nation on the fast track to development there is need to address the huge human resource deficit in healthcare delivery,” he said.
Meanwhile, Health Minister, Slyvia Masebo has said that the human resource shortage facing the health sector would be resolved with the employment of 11, 200 personnel.
Speaking when she toured Arthur Davies Children’s Hospital in Ndola, Ms. Masebo assured that soon human resource shortages and displacement would be dealt with.
She said the issue of some health workers being forced to work in a department that was not their specialty due to shortages of staff would be addressed through the employment of the 11, 200 staff.
“The employment of 11, 200 would address the challenge of shortage of human resource and staff displacement, all this would be dealt with,” she said.