Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga has put forward an ambitious plan to establish ground and air ambulance services as part of government efforts to resuscitate the country’s ailing health system.
The plan is a component of Chiwenga’s restructuring strategy, which will result in the health delivery system being anchored on four pillars including pharmaceutical and biomedical engineering.
Under the plan for ambulance services, Chiwenga said that the sector requires a ground fleet of at least 200 fully equipped ambulances to be stationed at health institutions across the country.
Meanwhile, the eight health professional councils have been challenged to regulate the conduct of healthcare workers to aid Government’s push for accelerated attainment of universal health coverage in line with Vision 2030, that of transforming the country into an upper middle income society.
This was said by Health and Child Care Minister and Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga while presiding over the inauguration of the new Health Professions Authority of Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday.
“I have always queried your whereabouts as health professional councils, when the populace and patients are left to perish,” said VP Chiwenga.
“I am sincerely appealing to all my councils to be proactive in addressing the issues of health service delivered by regulating the conduct of health professionals.
“Registration status must reflect the behaviour and code of ethics/conduct of health workers. We are here to protect the public. The poor and sick people depend on you as regulators.”
VP Chiwenga said Health Professional Councils play a pivotal role in shaping and regulating the conduct of health care workers. He said their function cannot be abrogated to some labour unions and obscure quasi-political associations that may be pursuing an ulterior agenda to destabilise the health sector.
“Health professionals are the bedrock of our health care system. It is, however, sad to note that the health professional ethics in Zimbabwe are currently under siege.
“At this juncture, let me emphasise that there is a need to separate the roles of health professionals’ councils and the roles of professional associations. We cannot afford to allow our councils to unionise and be entangled in labour issues that better dealt with by trade unions.”
VP Chiwenga urged the unions to collaborate and indicated that Government is seized with improving the conditions of service for healthcare workers.
“As Government we are committed to improve your working conditions. I am informed about your need for decent accommodation, reliable transport, adequate tools of trade and competent remuneration,” he said.
VP Chiwenga said if healthcare workers dutifully commit themselves to perform mandated functions the dignity of the will be restored and our population will forever be grateful.
“My Ministry’s vision is to improve access and quality of health services in Zimbabwe. To that end, I expect Health professionals to step up regulation and supervision of healthcare workers. “Let us all be cockpit-ready to set high standards for our respective professions. In my capacity as the Honourable Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, I urge you to constantly advise me on matters of training of health care workers and public health issues,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Vice President Chiwenga received a donation of three specialised surface ambulances worth R3,5 million from Redan Private Limited, which feeds into the ministry’s quest to capacitate the ambulance services directorate.
The ambulances will serve the Gwanda, Masvingo, Marondera Provincial Hospitals and Redan Coupon chief executive Mr Tafadzwa Chigumbu also announced that they have donated 1 000 litres fuel for each ambulance.
VP Chiwenga said his ministry is in the…
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