Zimbabwe seeks to slow exodus of doctors as economy collapses

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
(iStock)
(iStock)
  • Zimbabwe’s two-decade economic collapse is touching new lows with inflation at more than 750%.
  • A certificate doctors need to work abroad may now require approval by the state, according to the Zimbabwe Senior Hospital Doctors Association. 
  • Many of the country’s doctors and teachers, have left to seek work in South Africa, the UK and other countries.


Zimbabwe is seeking to tighten the rules on how a certificate which its doctors need in order to get work abroad is issued as medical professionals flee the country’s collapsing economy.

The so-called "Certificate of Good Standing" issued by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe may now need prior approval by the state, the Zimbabwe Senior Hospital Doctors Association said.

Professional bodies rely on the document as proof of clearance that doctors seeking work and study placement in a foreign country, among other things, have no outstanding disciplinary issues regarding patient care.

"The CGS is never issued by a government anywhere in the world," the doctors association said in a Twitter posting.

Zimbabwe’s two-decade economic collapse is touching new lows with inflation at more than 750% and the country’s currency collapsing. Shortages of food and fuel are common and a quarter of the population, including many of the country’s doctors and teachers, have left to seek work in South Africa, the UK and other countries.

"This has a bearing, as the government determines who goes out of the country," Aaron Musara, the secretary-general of the doctors association, said in an interview on Monday.

"The government is trying to retain staff at a time when they are failing to keep them" happy in their work, he said.

Jasper Chimedza, Zimbabwe's permanent secretary for health, didn’t respond to calls seeking comment.

The southern African nation’s health sector has not been spared from the wider economic meltdown. It's frequently been hard-hit by strikes lasting several months over low wages and shortages at public hospitals of everything from medicines to personal protective equipment needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Doctors earn salaries starting at Z$9,000 ($110) per month. The council, which has 3 371 registered doctors in the country, didn’t immediately respond to emailed queries.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
ZAR/USD
16.22
(+0.83)
ZAR/GBP
21.04
(+0.57)
ZAR/EUR
18.93
(+0.97)
ZAR/AUD
11.42
(+0.85)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.81)
Gold
1875.02
(+0.37)
Silver
23.44
(+0.75)
Platinum
854.00
(+0.65)
Brent Crude
38.07
(-3.48)
Palladium
2195.50
(-0.23)
All Share
52007.87
(+0.21)
Top 40
47766.61
(+0.40)
Financial 15
9593.30
(-1.67)
Industrial 25
73961.71
(+1.76)
Resource 10
47397.95
(-0.90)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
23% - 142 votes
No, I did not.
51% - 308 votes
My landlord refused
26% - 159 votes
Vote