Zimbabwe Blocks Nurses From Leaving The Country - Report
The Zimbabwean government has reportedly stopped issuing clearance letters for nurses in a bid to frustrate them from leaving the country for greener pastures.
This follows mass resignations that have hit the country’s public hospitals as health professionals migrate abroad for better salaries and working conditions, NewsDay reported.
In March, the government doubled application fees for nurses’ confirmation letters and certificates from US$150 to US$300.
An email sent to a nurses’ union leader from the United Kingdom Nursing and Midwifery Council reads in part:
We have received notification that the Zimbabwe government has taken a decision to withhold issuing verification of qualification and character for its nurses who wish to join our register.
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In response to this, we are currently exploring ways in which we support applicants including alternative options where possible and whether they will provide the same assurance as verification from the nursing council.
A health expert, who requested anonymity, told NewsDay that although nurses were prepared to pay for verification letters, the government had refused to clear them.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, health caregivers resigned en masse from public health institutions citing poor remuneration and risky working conditions.
Official figures show that last year alone Zimbabwe lost nearly 1 800 nurses, mainly to Britain. That’s more than 10% of all the nurses working in public hospitals.