Zimbabwe: Zim’s public health and overworked education professionals – Research


Workers in the country’s public health and education sectors are overburdened with a host of challenges ranging from low pay to appalling working conditions, a local think tank, the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute Zimbabwe, has created ( LEDRIZ).

LEDRIZ researcher Nyasha Muchichwa told stakeholders at an Action Aid Zimbabwe virtual workshop on ‘Decent work for the education and health sectors’ held recently in Due to this burden, they have failed to provide and deliver adequate services.

Research has found that the public health and education sectors are understaffed due to a government hiring freeze since 2017.

“For junior doctors, the choices are limited because opportunities exist in the military,” Muchichwa said.

“(As a result) it overloads teachers, nurses and doctors, leading to demoralization of workers and the inability to provide and deliver adequate services.”

The research highlighted that Zimbabwe’s civil service lacks key elements stipulated by the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding decent work, such as labor market security, job security, security job security, job security, reproductive security skills and income security.

In Zimbabwe, teacher-to-student and nurse-to-patient ratios in schools and hospitals, respectively, do not conform to international best practice as they tend to overwhelm professionals.

Lately, teachers, nurses and doctors in the public sector have been at odds with the government over wage increases after they were eroded by inflation.

Official figures show that the food poverty line stands at ZWL $ 21,895 and the poverty line also reached ZWL $ 30,630 in July 2021, which is higher than the average civil servant salary.

“The wage levels compared to the minimum monthly requirements make workers categorized as working poor,” Muchichwa said.

“There are multiple decent work deficits in the education and health sector that need to be addressed; this has led to an increase in the number of demoralized workers and a decline in the provision of services. “

The research also found that there had been a decline in the quality of services rendered in both sectors due to an upsurge in extra courses and private surgeries as these professionals tried to make a living.


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