Concerned unemployed nurses and midwives have given the Malawi Government up to 5th October 2023 to offer them permanent employment or face nationwide protests.
Through their chairperson Peter Kabaghe, Secretary Lusibiro Mwambene and spokesperson, Davis Silavwe, the 5, 000-member strong grouping is lamenting that the government, through the Ministry of Health, is exploiting them by providing them work on locum basis.
“We have noted that the ministry exploits us, unemployed nurses, as a source of cheap labor by providing work on locum basis to cater the work shortage, in which we receive MK40, 000 as a monthly salary, which takes three to four months to be deposited and is not enough to fend ourselves and our families making our lives very hard,” reads a statement released on Monday.
Kabaghe, Mwambene and Silavwe argue that there is a huge shortage of nurses in all the public hospitals across the country, which has resulted in workload being piled on the few employed nurses.
They demanded that the Ministry of Health should immediately stop providing temporary jobs in forms of short-term contracts, upkeeps and locums; and instead, provide permanent employment to them all.
“The government can also find us jobs in other countries if it fails to employ us all. Unemployed nurses across Malawi, we have written this letter to your good office Honourable Minister, to employ us to address the human resource shortage by ordering an immediate mass recruitment of all unemployed nurses before the 5th of October, 2023,” the statement adds.
They warned that they would mobilize themselves for a nationwide protest should the government fail to provide feedback on their raised concerns within 14 days.
“Failing which will mean that we are of less value and our services are not considered in Malawi and, therefore, we will withdraw our service from locum duties and hold nationwide demonstrations and vigils at the Ministry. We are looking forward to your consideration and reply, madam [Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda],” concludes the statement.
There was no immediate response from the Ministry of Health.