Medical group blames negative media coverage for health sector poor morale

By Own Correspondent

A medical practitioners group has slammed negative media stories for heavily pulling down the morale of health workers who are in fact, trying their best to serve the nation despite difficult economic conditions.

In a statement, the Medical and Dental Private Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe (MDPPAZ) president, John Marisa said lately, negative reporting tarnishes the images of the staff that has stood firm and astute to serve the communities underscoring that health staff is working under very difficult conditions with very low salaries, lack of incentives, lack of recognition, long working hours due to mutual understaffing.

“Some of the utterances and rants are detrimental to smooth functioning of the health sector. Negative reporting has its own consequences! It is a pity that brain drain is hitting hard with many migrating to Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Namibia and many other developed countries. Nurses are leaving in droves for greener pastures, leaving our country in a state of health misery,” he said.

Marisa said at the peak of COVID-19  many public hospitals were running short of admitting space. However, the gap was quickly closed by private practitioners who fought the battle from the other end and took risks by admitting critical patients in their clinics including those requiring oxygen.

Congestion at public hospitals was dramatically cut with mortality being naturally reduced.

“However, some sections of the media were at it again with negative stories about issues of overcharging patients. While it is unpalatable and unethical to overcharge, people should understand that COVID-19 requires so many things to manage especially when it has complicated to unprecedented levels,” he said.

Marisa said private practitioners were denounced by the same people who would visit medical centres and beg for free medical service.

He added ,”Negative reporting can destroy the health sector yet we work tirelessly to deliver health despite many tribulations we come across. It is time to honour our dedicated medical staff. Together, we will achieve our vision as a nation.”

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