The Ministry of Health and Child Care will move to appoint a Provincial Medical Director (PMD) for Bulawayo with a view of improving the management of health coordination and communication between health officials in the city.
This was revealed by Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo, who was in Bulawayo Friday to assess and discuss the city’s state of preparedness against the coronavirus and that of Matabeleland South and North provinces.
Health in eight largely rural provinces in the country has traditionally been coordinated through the offices of respective PMDs.
Bulawayo and Harare metropolitan provinces do not have PMDs.
Currently, the PMD of Matabeleland North, Dr Purgie Chimberegwa, is the one who oversees health issues in Bulawayo.
“Having a PMD in Bulawayo will bolster (delivery) and make sure we have concerted efforts in making sure the city itself, as a metropolitan province, is well covered. This is the same request that came from Harare,” Dr Moyo said, noting that a PMD for Harare would be appointed as well.
“This is so that we can have better coordination within the metropolitan provinces.”
The health minister noted having a PMD would be advantageous especially in matters such as fighting off infectious diseases such as coronavirus.
“We need to take advantage of this situation and also request for more posts for environmental health officers, he said, highlighting that government must unfreeze those posts.
He said the country needed more laboratory scientists, who would work to make sure testing of samples was done rapidly and efficiently.
“We need more so that can we can be able to take care of testing mechanisms, where results come out rapidly well and are accurate. Every time, I come to Bulawayo, the resident minister (Judith Ncube) asks when the ministry will fill the vacant posts,” recalled the health minister.
Dr Moyo said he, together with his permanent secretary, Dr Agnes Mahomva, who was also present in Bulawayo had taken note of the concerns and would work on filling the posts, joking there was an opportunity for promotions.
“The ministry is going to work on this matter and on the issue of having a PMD, so there will be an opportunity for promotion doctors. I have noted quite a number of personnel in acting positions,” he said.