Govt finalising transference of urban councils’ health workers to its payroll

The government has said it is finalising the process of transferring all health workers employed by the country’s urban councils to its payroll as a way of averting disruptions in health delivery at a time when the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the first step, the government announced in July that it was taking over the remuneration of nurses employed by Chitungwiza and Harare municipalities following failure by the two local authorities to meet their salary obligations.

Briefing the media in the capital yesterday after a Cabinet meeting, Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said the process of transferring health workers employed by urban local authorities had since started.

“Cabinet wishes to inform the public that its decision to transfer health workers from the Chitungwiza and Harare Municipalities’ payrolls to the government payroll has started in earnest, with 60 out of the 65 nursing staff in Chitungwiza having been transferred,” she said.

“Measures are being put in place for the City of Harare to expedite the implementation of the Cabinet decision of transferring 368 health professionals. This is in line with the government’s decision to centralise the payment of essential services in order to ensure timely payment.”

To smoothen the implementation of the transfer of the health workers, Mutsvangwa said, the Cabinet resolved that, going forward, that, instead of transferring just nurses, the government would move all health workers in Urban Local Authorities to its payroll under the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

“The implementation of the Cabinet directive [will] be made in a manner that allows the complete absorption of Health Professionals from all Urban Local Authorities starting with Chitungwiza followed by Harare and then moving on to the remaining Local Authorities,” explained Mutsvangwa.

She added that the responsible committee has been given a month to engage municipalities in order to deal with legacy issues, such as outstanding salaries, provident funds, statutory obligations, and other conditions of service such as funeral assistance, medical insurance and accommodation.

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