The government has recruited 500 nurses and 49 junior doctors and deployed them to five central hospitals that have been designated as Covid-19 centres.
This follows a sharp increase in infections among health workers with 1 547 testing positive to the pandemic.
In a statement, the Health Services Board (HSB) said 500 nurses and 49 junior doctors have been deployed to institutions that include United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital.
Health Services Board (HSB) executive chairperson, Dr Paulinus Sikhosana said the deployments are meant to ease pressure on public health care institutions.
“The Health Service Board and Ministry of Health and Child Care have put in place a number of initiatives which include the deployment of 49 junior medical doctors to five central hospitals.
“With Treasury authority, the Health Services Board is employing an additional 500 nurses,” said Dr Sikhosana.
HSB further announced that frontline workers will continue to receive their monthly COVID-19 risk allowances with those operating from Red zones getting a further ZWL$6 000 starting this January 2021.
“All health workers in the public health sector, including nurses, continue to receive their monthly Covid-19 risk allowances in line with the low, medium and high-risk categories. The levels of payment are $1 500, $2 250 and $3 750, respectively.
“All health workers assigned to continuously work in the RedZone treatment wards are entitled to a monthly RedZone allowance of $6 000. This outstanding allowance will start being paid together with the January 2021 salary, back paid to when it was introduced,” said HSB.
According to HSB, 200 of the 500 recruited have already been deployed with 80 seconded to Parirenyatwa (30 of whom will support Wilkins Infectious Hospital), 70 to United Bulawayo Hospitals (20 to support Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital) and 50 to Matabeleland South (support surge from border crossings).
The outstanding 300 will be deployed once information on those that passed their examinations and registration by the Nursing Council is available.