Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union has vowed to fight massive brain drain bedeviling the health sector through rolling out empowerment projects to its ‘impoverished’ members.
Addressing nurses during a workshop in Gweru recently, ZPNU president Robert Chiduku said the union will continue representing the needs of health workers.
“Yes the government is not paying us enough to feed our families but we can’t all go out to greens pastures. We want to give out hatching machines so that we breed layers and be able to sell eggs and chickens and also breed for relish. You won’t even need these bonuses once we enroll these projects,” said Chiduku.
Health workers have been forced to resign en masse due to uncompetitive salaries with unconfirmed reports indicating that Zimbabwean nurses are the least paid in the region.
Chiduku added that as a union they were trying to create diaspora network for nurses who are in foreign countries to invest in local businesses and industries.
“The government has failed to remunerate a competitive salary to the health professionals so that they do not migrate to other countries. So here we are and we wish to change their lives of the health workers,” said Chiduku.
In May, government announced plans to ban doctors and nurses from embarking on strike for more than three days under new proposed amendments to the Health Services Act.
Under the changes, worker representatives will be charged of incitement and face up to three years in jail in what authorities said is necessary to ostensibly “instil discipline” in the health sector.