Harare Cen­tral Hospi­tal scores a first

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SOCIETY - For­ward Nyanyiwa

IN A his­toric de­vel­op­ment for the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion, Harare Cen­tral Hospi­tal has adopted pub­lic se­lec­tion of stu­dent nurses as a way of im­prov­ing trans­parency and deal­ing with cor­rup­tion in the re­cruit­ment process.

The hospi­tal’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Dr Nyasha Ma­suka, said the health in­sti­tu­tion in­vited mem­bers of the pub­lic and the me­dia to wit­ness the se­lec­tion process, a cul­mi­na­tion of rec­om­men­da­tions by the Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (Zacc).

“We de­vel­oped a new trainee nurse re­cruit­ment pol­icy fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions from a re­port. An au­dit of nurse re­cruit­ment at Harare Hospi­tal was done by Zacc in 2017. We adopted all the rec­om­men­da­tions from the re­port.

“The se­lected stu­dents will be in­ter­viewed in Fe­bru­ary 2019 and we will in­vite the pub­lic and me­dia to wit­ness that process as well. We will be the pi­o­neers of im­ple­ment­ing this new pol­icy in the coun­try,” he said.

Dr Ma­suka said they used a lot­tery sys­tem from all the prospec­tive ap­pli­cants to get their re­quired fig­ure.

“We need to re­cruit a to­tal of 105 trainees for the three 2019 in­takes, there­fore we need to in­ter­view 315 can­di­dates to get th­ese 105 stu­dent nurses.

“We had 7 000 ap­pli­cants, we then di­vided 7 000 by 315 and we got 22. We were then pick­ing every 22nd ap­pli­ca­tion un­til we got 315 ap­pli­ca­tions.

“We then opened the ap­pli­ca­tions and se­lected those that had the re­quired qual­i­fi­ca­tions and dis­carded those who didn’t qual­ify and re­peated the process un­til we had the suitable can­di­dates for train­ing,” he said.

“The process looked at those with high­est passes, that is those with three As in Math­e­mat­ics, Eng­lish and Sci­ence. Th­ese would give us say 15 point marks and our range was from 11 to 15 points for fe­males and 12 to 15 points for male ap­pli­cants,” he said.

Dr Ma­suka said for the pub­lic in­ter­views com­ing next year, they will use can­di­date num­bers and not names. He said this will in­crease trans­parency.

“The in­ter­view panel will be se­lected trans­par­ently and will not in­clude peo­ple with con­flict of in­ter­est. We will al­low some in­de­pen­dent ex­perts to ob­serve in­ter­views and can­di­dates will not be known by names, but by can­di­date num­bers is­sued by an in­de­pen­dent en­tity,” he said.

The hospi­tal boss said the Zacc au­dit fol­lowed a na­tion­wide out­cry on the re­cruit­ment process.

“Their au­dit was prompted by nu­mer­ous com­plaints and al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion. Peo­ple claimed that they were be­ing made to pay as much as $2 000 to get into train­ing, although no­body has come for­ward with any proof,” he added.

This had al­legedly led to the decay of the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion as a num­ber of the stu­dent nurses were fail­ing the nurs­ing ex­am­i­na­tions.

Dr Ma­suka is urg­ing all those who might have been swin­dled of their money to come for­ward.

“We have heard re­ports that there are some stu­dents who have of­fer let­ters for May and Septem­ber 2019 in­takes and we ad­vise them to come to the hospi­tal and see our clin­i­cal di­rec­tor with those let­ters. The in­ter­views are only sched­uled for Fe­bru­ary next year but al­ready we have re­ports sug­gest­ing that some ap­pli­cants are in pos­ses­sion of of­fer let­ters so we need to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter,” he said.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, the hospi­tal has since closed the quota sys­tem door for stu­dents that were in­ter­viewed and re­cruited by the Min­istry of Health and Child Care.

“We have since writ­ten to the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary ad­vis­ing him of our new re­cruit­ing pol­icy - that this time we are not go­ing to take any ap­pli­cants from the Min­istry,” he said.

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