By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Ateam of Matabeleland activists has reiterated calls for a review of the e-nursing application system arguing it remains discriminatory against aspiring nurses from marginalised areas because of the digital divide.
The activists, operating under the Volunteers Team 2020 group, have been assisting aspiring nurse trainees from the region, particularly the marginalised, with the whole application process.
Hundreds of aspiring nurses from the region have been assisted with access to the internet, technical advice on the e-application portal and preparation for interviews with 91 successfully undergoing interviews and starting training. .
“Despite the above achievements, we reiterate our call for a review of the application system,” Volunteers Team 2020 member and activist Discent Collins Bajila said.
The Health ministry in 2019 introduced an online e-recruitment exercise for aspiring nurses following allegations that the previously used centralised system at its head offices in the capital, Harare, was open to abuse and corruption.
This was after Matabeleland activists protested against what they described as a questionable recruitment of nurse trainees at Mpilo Central Hospital, United Bulawayo Hospitals and Brunapeg Mission Hospital in Matabeleland South.
“We believe that the very fact that it is an exclusively online process, it marginalizes people from areas with no access to the internet,” Bajila said.
“We further reiterate the call for the parliamentary portfolio committee on Health and Child Care to investigate whether the system satisfies the requirements for administrative justice and devolution of power as dictated by the constitution.”
Bajila also made a public SOS for groceries and other basics to assist nurse trainees from poor backgrounds, who have resumed training.
“Their allowances, which remain in arrears, are inadequate to get them groceries, toiletries, stationery, and other basic needs,” Bajila noted.
“We call for well-wishers to come forth and assist our young people with groceries, gas stoves, and stationery in order to reduce the load.”