Govt denies militarisation in junior doctors’ recruitment

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By Anna Chibamu

HEALTH and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro has denied media reports all junior doctors will now be recruited through the country’s security services, telling parliament Wednesday this was optional.

A fortnight ago, Vice President and substantive health minister Constantino Chiwenga announced that junior doctors who completed their medicine degrees would be recruited by government for their housemanship through the army.

Responding to questions regarding the issue Wednesday, Mangwiro it was not true that all junior doctors would be recruited through the military.

“What was said by VP Chiwenga was that junior doctors who were there last year did not complete their courses. So for this group to be availed jobs, through government, there are no vacancies but for those willing, they can go through the army, police or prisons.

“Whoever does not want or sight or is not willing to go there can wait until next year January if there is a vacancy so that the person can be employed through the ministry of health.

“So, it is not mandatory but what we are saying is that there are vacancies in the army, police or prison service,” said Mangwiro.

The deputy minister said his ministry was overwhelmed because students did not complete their degrees at the same time.

“No one is being forced. Whoever wants to wait until January if there is space can do so, then they can go. If vacancies arise in April, then they can be absorbed.”

Junior doctors failed to complete their medicine programme last year citing lack of enough knowledge as their seniors (tutors) were on a prolonged strike demanding that government provide them with equipment in public health institutions.