Doctors, scientists, pharmacists, nurses, and physiotherapists are among the well-educated members of Zimbabwe’s medical profession. Many countries that are looking for qualified personnel are now using the country as a training ground. Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and England are among the countries that have rushed to recruit and select Zimbabweans.
As a result, a large number of medical personnel are fleeing. Because of low pay, loss of motivation, and job insecurity, working conditions in our country are deemed unsuitable for staff retention. Many health workers are so poor that they cannot send their children to school. Inflation is rising, which is further reducing disposable income.
Zimbabwe has a large number of registered health facilities, some of which have been in operation for quite some time. In order for a medical practice to be operational, an initial application is submitted to the appropriate medical council. The Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) is a governing body for Zimbabwe’s doctors and dentists that is investigating the feasibility of the proposed operation. The council reviews the applications before they are forwarded to the Health Professions Authority (HPA).
The Health Professions Authority (HPA) is Zimbabwe’s apex health regulatory body, responsible for coordinating the functions and operations of all health professions councils, including the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists Council of Zimbabwe, the Allied Health Practitioners Council, the Nurses Council of Zimbabwe, the Pharmacist Council of Zimbabwe, the Natural Therapists Council, the Environmental Health Practitioners Council, and the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council.
All pharmacies must operate with a majority of shareholders who are registered pharmacists and a majority of the value of shares held by registered pharmacists, according to Section 124 (2a) of the Health Professions Act. As a result, pharmacies are structured differently than sole proprietorships. This implies that all company documents, including the chief document, CR14, should be accessible, with the directorship and share values clearly displayed.
This is the path to take for other health professionals who have long been taken advantage of by unscrupulous businessmen who only want to use their certificates to register medical practises and then dump them when they feel threatened in some way. It is time for medical practitioners to reclaim their practice after years of memorising anatomy, physiology, and embryology in school. Many medical practitioners are impoverished, despite being the faces of some of Zimbabwe’s largest health institutions. The error was that their certificates were hung in offices without even a 5% stake in the companies they helped register.
Because their wealthy owners usually refuse to take medical advice, medical practices run by ordinary businessmen are more likely to conduct covert operations. Many hospitals in the country are understaffed, and the owners prioritise profits over quality health care delivery. Because of the lack of ownership, registering practitioners may be unable to supervise operations, resulting in the obnoxious and illegal practices observed. Doctors should demand legally binding ownership of registered health care facilities in their names.
The first step should be to properly present paperwork to the respective councils, with all councils required to allow only company registrations rather than individual registrations. In the CR14 presentation, the practitioner’s name and shareholding value should be clearly displayed. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has been at odds with many individual health practitioners, making tax clearance difficult to obtain. To make this work, a constitutional amendment or the addition of Section 101 (2b) of the Health Professions Act of 2004 allowing a health institution applicant to be asked to provide additional information about the health institution in question would be required.