Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa said: “We have to competitively reward our doctors in order to guarantee greater staff retention in our hospitals, and in the country.
“Many of our doctors continue to leave the country for greener pastures; they are hotly sought after, particularly in the rich West, because of our superior training facilities.
“The Second Republic has to treat in-country medical staff retention as a foremost national goal. More visible and substantive steps will be taken in the near future to improve the working conditions for our medical staff.”
The President said some of the issues will be addressed in next year’s budget which will be presented this Thursday.
He said his administration will also improve the availability of medical equipment and drugs because “at the end of the day, a doctor is as good as the equipment and machinery available to them, in the discharge of their work, which invariably is delicate and life-saving”. His administration was fully aware of this area of great concern and need and would be making substantial provisions towards meeting this pressing need, starting with this coming budget.
He stressed the need to boost the medical corps saying Zimbabwe already had four medical schools and in the region it was only second to South Africa which had 10 medical schools.
“The number of medical practitioners in the country remains unsatisfactorily low. I am told we have 3 777 registered medical practitioners in the country. Of this number, 1 982 are General Medical Officers; 713 are specialists; 250 are dentists, while 627 are interns. We have to boost our medical corps,” Mnangagwa said.
“I am aware that such a goal takes time, and a lot more than just the availability of training facilities.”
Mnangagwa said his administration was going to rope in local investors who are in the diaspora who have expressed an interest in investing in medical parks.
“There is growing demand for land on which to set up medical facilities. This demand has been coming especially from our citizens in the Diaspora wishing to invest back home. They want land on which to set up all sorts of facilities, including those for research and further specialised training. It is their own way of giving back to our society,” he said.
“Accordingly, I am directing government to identify suitable land across the country on which to develop medical parks. Land should be free to those wishing to set up shop or training facilities. Only that way can we attract more investments in the medical sector.”
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