The issue of conditions of service and tools of trade for health workers has remained a topical issue for some time, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Constantino Chiwenga during the Ministry’s conference in Victoria Falls once again assured the health workers that Cabinet was looking into their issue.
“I am very much aware of the challenges that are affecting our work, chief among which is poor working conditions, including lack of tools of trade.
“As I mentioned earlier, my mission is to stabilise the health sector and restore its dignity, including the dignity of health workers. My thrust, therefore is to ensure that health workers are competitively remunerated, have adequate tools of trade, decent accommodation and reliable transport,” said Dr. Chiwenga.
VP Chiwenga pointed out the importance of going beyond providing a conducive working environment by looking at living conditions hence, the decision of considering non-monetary incentives for health workers.
“It is imperative that the Health Services Board, as the employer of the health care workers, look beyond the work environment for its staff, but ensure that the general living conditions are also taken care of.
“In this regard, as the Ministry, we have made proposals to Cabinet for some of the non-monetary incentives, which I would say are receiving serious considerations,” said VP Chiwenga.
The VP noted that the non-monetary incentives included vehicle and housing loans; institutional accommodation, transport, canteens as well as rehabilitation and fitness centres.
“These include vehicle loans schemes for both junior and senior staff to be reviewed upwards, housing loans to continue at all levels, provision of institutional accommodation, with model flats having been worked out the costings are included in the 2022 budget, buses to be procured for the health sector for central, provincial and district hospitals, canteens facilities at health institutions to be refurbished and rehabilitation and fitness centres to be established at all health institutions,” said the VP.
Like anyone else, health workers also want pieces of agricultural land to carry out their various farming activities. In this regard, Dr. Chiwenga promised to engage the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development, Dr. Anxious Masuka over the issue.
“Further, I will be discussing with the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development, the issue of agricultural land for health sector staff,” said Dr. Chiwenga.