Govt to recruit Cuban doctors
Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
Government is set to recruit over 100 specialist doctors from Cuba to be deployed at the country’s referral and provincial hospitals.
In a video posted on the Ministry of Health and Child Care Twitter account last Friday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said the country has a serious shortage of specialist doctors, hence the need to recruit Cuban doctors.
He said Government also wants to learn from Cuba on how to decentralise the health sector as it has a uniquely decentralised health system. Dr Parirenyatwa said the specialist doctors to be recruited would be deployed at provincial and referral hospitals countrywide.
“Finally, we are hoping to recruit 102 specialists to go into mostly our provincial hospitals and of course, some will come to central hospitals. What we are trying to do is to say every provincial hospital should have at least five specialist doctors. At the moment, provincial hospitals have at least one or two specialists,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
He said the specialists would also assist in the training of student doctors, who are disadvantaged by shortage of specialists in the country.
“Midlands State University has also started a medical school. If you have a medical school at MSU, you need the Gweru Provincial Hospital to have adequate specialists so that students are trained properly. So, if you have three specialists when you are supposed to have 15, how do you train the students to make them good doctors? National University of Science and Technology has got a medical school, but we need a lot of specialists at Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals. At the moment, they are completely inadequate. How do you train good doctors?”
The Minister said his ministry wants to learn from Cuba how to eradicate mother-to-child HIV transmission.
“Cuba has managed to eliminate the transmission of HIV from mother-to-child while we still have a 5,4 percent which is a good figure. We want to go and learn how they did it,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
The Minister was not immediately available for comment, but an official in his Ministry said he was supposed to have left the country for Cuba over the weekend to discuss the recruitment of the doctors, among other health matters.
Dr Parirenyatwa’s announcement comes at a time when newly-appointed Prosecutor-General Advocate Ray Goba says his office also plans to recruit 102 young lawyers to work as prosecutors, a development that should end the secondment of members of the uniformed agencies to the prosecution.
The Government has already given its approval after a long period of recruitment freeze in the public service.