The HSB which is the employer of all health workers in Zimbabwe, came up with a cocktail of measures in its quest to develop its human capital in line with NDS1 and Vision 2030. To discuss these developments, The Health Beat editor Tryfine Dzvukutu (TRD) caught up with Acting Executive Director of the Health Service Board Mr Angelbert Mbengwa (ED – AM) to discuss some of the innovations and efforts that the board is doing to improve the conditions of service for all health workers.

(TRD) Please tell us about some of the innovative solutions that you have adopted in various departments.

(ED – AM) The innovative solutions that we have introduced in the human capital department is to engage unemployed people and fitting them into the vacant positions in the sector. It starts by online registration which is one area that we have put in place for e-recruitment purposes. We have vacancies on our website and also in the press with detailed descriptions. We also have a database for those who would have registered with us. That database is managed electronically. However, as a we continue with our employment trajectory that when somebody has been selected for interviews due to Covid 19 and need for social distancing online interviews can be conducted online.
We have also implemented the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) which is assisting in Deployments which are now also electronically based including decentralisation of reappointments.

(TRD) What has the Conditions of service department done to improve the conditions of its workers.

(ED – AM) We have workers who are facing challenges due to the economy and also Covid 19 so we have put our efforts in improving the conditions of the employees starting off with the various Covid 19 risk allowances that we have put in place for our members. We have also reviewed the whole list of health sector specific allowances to try and respond to the changing times and respond to the burden of Covid 19, uniform allowances, on call allowances, out of residence, rural allowance. All this is done to try and remain attractive, in addition we put up a scheme for all health workers that is vehicle import duty free facility which is available. Vehicle loan scheme is also available and paid in USD. All these are efforts to improve the transport challenges. The housing loan scheme is also being organised to alleviate the accommodation challenges.

(TRD) HSB now has two independent departments in the form of Legal and Performance Improvement and Development. Please take us through the functions of these departments.

(ED – AM) Performance, Improvement and Development has always been an area that we seek to strengthen. We have widened on our area of online training; this also relates to the appraisal form. We also have some of workers who undergoing post basic training via the colleges without walls. The ministry of health and child care and HSB conducted the health labour market analysis that seeks to understand the workforce needs, demand and supply size.

(TRD) In parting what message do you have for the health workers.

(ED – AM) Our message to the health workers is that we recognise and appreciate the hard work they are putting in these difficult times especially due to Covid 19, we really want to applaud them those who have decided to stay when others are going abroad. The HSB will continue with efforts in ensuring that the conditions of service will continue to be attractive. Let us pull together for health, HSB will continue in its mandate to provide the best skilled workers in the health sector.

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