Councillors bemoan shortage of clinic nurses

Bulawayo councillors have bemoaned the shortage of staff at council clinics, a development that has affected health service delivery around the city.

Speaking at the latest Full Council Meeting, Ward 13 Councillor Frank Jabangwe lamented the deterioration in service delivery at council-run health facilities due to inadequate staff.

Cllr Jabangwe said scores of nurses continued quitting their jobs in search of greener pastures while replacing them took too much time.

“Our clinics are short staffed. Most health professionals have fled the country in search of greener pastures, which has affected service delivery. Residents now spend long hours in queues awaiting service,” he highlighted.

“At Phelandaba Clinic we used to have an average of three dentists attending to 60 people, now we only have one who tends to 20 to 30 people a day. In the end the some patients are turned away. Can the council not employ its own staff rather than wait for the government because recruitment is taking long from that end?”

Ward 13 Cllr Frank Jabangwe

Ward 24 Cllr Arnold Batirai Dube also inquired what the health committee was doing to solve this crisis where ‘lots’ of nurses left their jobs.

Bulawayo Deputy Mayor, Ward 1, Cllr Mlandu Ncube explained that the council was trying its best to give health workers favourable working conditions.

The deputy mayor implored nurses to be patient with the council, citing that the city’s financial situation would eventually improve.

“We have been greatly affected by this movement of nurses. At the most, we can keep nurses for six months. However, we can not deny them the opportunity to leave for better jobs when they get chances to do so. We try to employ in excess so that when some leave, we remain with others,” Cllr Ncube said.

“We implore health professionals to be kind enough to stay and be patient. As the council we are trying our best to renumerate our staff decently. We promise that once the situation gets better those who would have stuck with us will be rewarded for their patience.”

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