BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
ZIMBABWE’s five major hospitals are still without substantive chief executive officers (CEOs) more than a year after they were fired, while most departments in the Health and Child Care ministry are being headed by acting directors, NewsDay has learnt.
Health stakeholders yesterday said this impedes the smooth running of hospitals and government programmes.
Last year, the Health and Child Care ministry fired five chief executives at the country’s major hospitals as part of a restructuring exercise to enhance operational efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.
The axe fell on Nonhlanhla Ndlovu (United Bulawayo Hospitals), Leonard Mabandi (Ingutsheni Central), Ernest Manyawu (Parirenyatwa), Tinashe Dhobbie (Sally Mugabe) and Enock Mayida (Chitungwiza Central Hospital).
Some directors in the ministry were also sent on leave, resulting in several departments operating without substantive heads.
These include the preventive health, nursing services, finance, human resources and pharmacy and family health departments, among others.
Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike yesterday expressed concern over the issue, saying three-quarters of directors in the Health ministry were in acting capacity.
“We are worried that when one is on an acting capacity, s/he would not be job-secure and morale would be low, which would impact negatively on their work output, overall performance and even their own health,” Rusike told NewsDay.
“It should be noted that an acting director’s job is essentially to keep the organisation functional until the director returns or someone is appointed. With the current problems facing the health sector, it is important that substantive directors, who can change policies or implement them without fear, are appointed for the smooth operation of the sector,” he said.
In February this year, HSB board chairman Paulinus Sikhosana said government was finalising compensation packages for fired managers before recruiting substantive CEOs.
Health analysts, however, said replacements for the fired CEOs should be appointed urgently.