In Zimbabwe in 2008, 65% of health care services were provided by the public sector. The severe social and economic challenges since that time have resulted in an unprecedented deterioration of health care infrastructure, loss of experienced health sector personnel, and a drastic decline in the quality of health services available for the population (Human Resources for Health Profile, 2009).
Currently, there are 1.6 physicians and 7.2 nurses for every 10,000 people (Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Human Resources for Health information sheet, 2010). Lack of staff for medical education training, and high drop-out rates in public sector health care posts have resulted in vacancy rates of over 50% for doctors, midwives, laboratory, and environmental health staff (National Health Strategy for Zimbabwe 2009-2013). Some more recent data suggest a slight decrease for some of these categories (Human Resources for Health Profile, 2009), which may be a positive result of an Emergency Retention Scheme created in 2008.
The current National Health Strategy identifies the following key issues surrounding HRH:
- failure to contain and manage the loss of health sector personnel due to unattractive retention incentives;
- poor and unequal distribution of health workers within the sector;
- low outputs from training of health workers; and
- an absence of bilateral/international agreements relating to HRH recruitment.
COUNTRY COORDINATION AND FACILITATION (CCF) IN ZIMBABWE
With the support of the Alliance, the implementation of the CCF process in Zimbabwe has resulted in the following achievements:
- orientation of stakeholder groups to the CCF process,
- expansion of HRH Task Force to be more inclusive of HRH stakeholders to coordinate the financing, implementation, and monitoring of the HRH strategic plan.
- creation of an HRH profile,
- creation of an HRH policy and strategic plan,
- development of a health worker retention policy and scheme.
The Task Force includes members from the following stakeholder groups:
- Zimbabwe Health Service Board
- Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Higher
- Ministry of Labour and Social Services
- Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Planning
- local authorities – City of Harare
- Faith Based Organizations – Zimbabwe Association of Church-related Hospitals (ZACH)
- UN agencies - WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF
- Development partners and donors -CDC, CIDA, DFID, ESP, EU,, JICA
- Civil society
- Professional regulatory councils
- Professional associations
- Academia – University of Zimbabwe
- the private sector
HEALTH WORKFORCE DATA
HUMAN RESOURCES FOR HEALTH PLAN
Zimbabwe is in the advanced development stages of an HRH operational plan based on the National Health Strategic Plan. Current information on the planning stages and immediate goals of Zimbabwe's HRH planning and policies can be found in Section 3.2 of the National Health Strategy for Zimbabwe (2009-2013).
HEALTH SECTOR STRATEGIES / PLANS
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS
Participatory Process for the Development and Implementation of the HRH Plan: Lessons Learned (2010)
- Retention Incentives for Health Workers in Zimbabwe (2008)
- Assessment of Human Resources for Health Using Cross-National Comparison of Facility Surveys in Six Countries (2008)
- Increasing Leadership Capacity for HIV/AIDS Programmes by Strengthening Public Health Epidemiology and Management Training in Zimbabwe (2009)