By Joyce Banda
Economic Front Chairperson for Health & Nutrition
As Economic Front, we have observed that the recruitment of civil servants is done hastily without proper planning, a situation that will bring about other challenges if left unchecked.
It is a fact that government is overwhelmed with the number of qualified and unemployed people in the country which has been caused by mushrooming of private training institutions offering undergraduate programs in education and health.
Thousands of students are graduating every year and most of them are expecting to be employed by government since the private sector can only absorb a negligible figure.
On the other hand the new dawn government wants to score over their predecessors that they are better than PF.
While we appreciate the efforts made towards recruitment of health workers but there are critical challenges that need quick interventions from the government if the recruitment process is to succeed:
- The number of recruited personnel is too large such that some have no place to work from, e.g. Radiology technologists are placed in health centers where there’s no X-ray Machine, some Laboratory technologists are placed in health centers where there are no Laboratories. The question is, what will those personnel be doing in health centers? Will they be getting paid for doing nothing? This shows lack of planning by govt. The PF built health facilities thus we expected new dawn government to prioritized equipping these health centers before recruiting machine operators. Luanshya District has only one old X-ray Machine at Roan Hospital, yet it has received at least one radiology technologist at each facility. Recruiting of thousands health personnel means nothing if hospitals remain without drugs and equipment. There’s no improvement in the quality of care that people has been yearning for.
- The selection process leaves much to be desired, what criteria did they use to select successful candidates? We were expecting the “first out, first in” considering that many of them completed 4-5 years ago and others were working as volunteers yet these people have been left out. We expected government to give priority to those that completed first but what we have seen is the opposite. The recently graduated are on the list while those that completed earlier have been left out. We appeal to government to investigate. Otherwise, people will speculate that it’s corruption at play.
- The number of private training institutions needs to be regulated, or we need to build more hospitals and health centers to accommodate the Increasing number of graduates.
When the Economic Front under the able leadership of Cde Wynter Kabimba SC, takes over in 2026, we will ensure that there’s balance between the demand and supply of health personnel in the country. We will bring in Partners (local partners) to build private hospitals of international standards in all the 10 provinces of Zambia so that we can create job opportunities for our citizens. We therefore challenge government to recruit personnel according to the vacancies available.