Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Tanzania hospitals hit hard by brain drain as sacked doctors seek jobs abroad

HUNDREDS OF doctors working in Tanzania government hospitals are leaving the country for greener pastures in other African countries after the government terminated their services over a strike.

The Tanzania Medical Association says the exodus of medical specialists has peaked over the past week in response to what the professionals see as the arrogance and vindictiveness of senior state officials.
(Read: UN office receives Tanzania medics’ plea over Ulimboka)
Officials at Southern African Development Community member states’ embassies in Dar es Salaam have confirmed that approximately 50 medical personnel who have been terminated in Tanzania have opted to pursue employment opportunities elsewhere
numerous doctors, nurses and midwives are leaving for Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
The move to leave the country follows the Medical Council of Tanganyika decision to cancel the provisional registration of more than 360 internship doctors who were involved in the recent strike.
Donan Mbando, chairman of MCT, said the professionals are required to return the provisional registration to the registry office before July 17.
“These doctors have been stripped of their provisional registration in accordance to section 15 (2) of the Medical Act, chapter 152,” said Dr Mbando.
The medical professionals who lost their provisional registration licences had been assigned to Muhimbili National Hospital, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Council Hospital, Mbeya Referral Hospital, Bugando, Amana, Temeke, St Francis-Ifakara, Mwananyamala,  SekouToure, Haydom and Dodoma hospitals.

Namala Mkopi, president of the Medical Association of Tanzania, said they had pleaded with the doctors not to leave due to the invaluable services they offered. But the doctors said it was the only alternative given the government was in no hurry to resolve the situation.
“There will obviously be an impact on the delivery of health services,” he said.
The government has already set aside Tsh200 billion ($100 million) to employ foreign doctors. The amount is way above the cost of training a doctor in the country —Tsh100 million ($64,034.4) over five years.

Source The EastAfrican

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