Job cuts cripple service delivery
Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
The Harare City Council rationalisation exercise, which saw 173 employees retired from its clinics has crippled service delivery at health centres.
According to the recent minutes of the Audit Committee, council directed audit manager Mr Joseph Issa, to carry out an audit exercise on the rationalisation process to ascertain its impact and to see whether council had benefited from the exercise.
“The audit manager reported that the audit team visited seven city health centres consisting of polyclinics, family health services clinics and one satellite clinic and noted that long queues were still in existence,” reads part of the minutes.
CITY OF HARARE
“The causes were the reduction in staff compliment by a total of 173 employees due to retirement age limit recently introduced through the council rationalisation exercise.
“The staff reduction affected both supervisory and operational staff performance quantitatively and qualitatively.”
The team also observed that there was an outdated staff establishment in the face of new settlements created in rural to urban migration.
Acting town clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube reported that heads of departments were working with consultants in addressing its impact and coming with a working structure.
The committee tasked director of Health Services Dr Prosper Chonzi to ensure that staff in clinics and hospitals had staggered tea and lunch breaks to ensure that patients are attended to all the time.
The committee resolved that Dr Chonzi follows up with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to work towards achieving the recommended nurse to patient ratio for planning purposes.
He was also tasked to review the staff establishment in relation to the additional functions and increases in population in liaison with the Management Services Group.
The Audit committee said there was need for the upgrading of satellite clinics like Hopley and Caledonia into polyclinic status.
The city last year reduced its workforce from 9 000 to 6 500 through retirement and retrenchment.