By Idah Mhetu
EFFORTS by the government to recruit over 100 specialist doctors from Cuba seems to be bearing no fruit as only 37 doctors from the northern Caribbean country are in Zimbabwe.
Over the years, the government has expressed a keen interest in recruiting specialist doctors from Cuba to fill in vacancies in the country’s public health institutions.
In December, Health Minister Obadiah Moyo indicated that Zimbabwe would employ more Cuban and Chinese doctors to replace over 450 doctors who had embarked on a prolonged industrial action citing poor salaries and working conditions.
Most of the local doctors are now back at work after Zimbabwe billionaire telecommunications mogul, Strive Masiyiwa made a pledge to give them incentives on top of their monthly salaries.
However, Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Carmelina Ramirez Rodriquez said only 37 doctors were working in Zimbabwe.
She added, however, that more would be coming from Cuba, but could say out as to when.
“Currently, we have 37 doctors in the country, and of course we are going to bring more doctors,” she said.
Despite the return of local doctors to work, the public hospitals still need specialist doctors with patients continuously being turned away because there are no physicians.
Meanwhile, Rodriquez met with the Acting President Kembo Mohadi at his Munhumutapa office in Harare Friday where she paid a courtesy call.
The relationship between Havana and Harare dates back to the days of the country’s liberation struggle in 1978 when Cuba expressed willingness to support Zimbabwe against the now defunct colonial government of Ian Douglas Smith.