By Prisca Lumingu and KETRA KALUNGA
THE Ministry of Health must be truthful over the recruitment of 11, 200 Health workers as no process has started because it has been characterised with confusion, Resident Doctors Association president, Brian Sampa has said.
But the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Professor Lackson Kasonka has clarified that contrary to what was reported in the media, the recruitment process has not started.
Prof Kasonka explained in an interview that the ministry has not begun the process of employment but was instead working on the recruitment planning of the health workers. “I’m not politicising anything because I have not said recruitment is going on. I have said recruitment planning is going on,” he said.
Dr Sampa said Government hoodwinked the 800 unemployed doctors last year that they would be employed by December 2021 but up to date nothing has happened apart from issuing contradicting statements.
Dr Sampa who is also chairperson of a consortium of health bodies says what government should understand is that it is not only the unemployed doctors who are aggrieved but also other health professionals.
“We were told that the recruitment would be done by December 2021 but that never happened, instead we were hoodwinked into believing that people will be employed by taking in a few under the world bank who have not even been paid despite their contracts ending on 31st December,” he said.
He also wondered how government can tell the nation that the recruitment process has started when no treasury authority has been given.
Dr Sampa also cited that the Public Service Management Division-PSMD which is mandated to employee the health workers on behalf of the Ministry of Health have been mute hence the pronouncements by the Ministry are not true.
“He said that 11, 200 people will be employed and that the process has started but how can you say the process has started when treasury authority has not been given and our employers who are PSMD have been mute,” Dr Sampa said.
He said the process should be questioned because neither PSDM nor the treasury authority says anything about employment which means that the things being talked about are just administrative at the Ministry of Health.
He also sought clarification from the Ministry of Health on the recruitment currently occurring under the replacement category.
Dr Sampa said what has been happening was replacements and not the recruitment process as government alleges.
“What has been happening is that replacements have been happening, every day people are dying, people are leaving health facilities, retiring and yes these needs to be replaced, it is a normal process,” he said.