Association of Concerned Unemployed Nurses and Midwives (CUMN) says the emergency meeting it held with the Ministry of Health (MoH) has done little to appease them and that it will not withdraw any of its demands.
MoH called for an emergency meeting on Friday at Capital Hill in Lilongwe to address concerns that CUMN raised in a press briefing the previous day.
In an interview yesterday, CUMN chairperson Dalitso Dulani said during the meeting, MoH said it had no resources to recruit them though the ministry was in need of more staff.
He said: “I don’t think the government does not have the resources. It seems as though they don’t want to prioritise health.”
In the press briefing prior to the meeting with MoH, CUMN called on President Peter Mutharika to issue a directive to employ them before October 1 this year, to which the President has not responded yet.
The group comprises over 2 000 nurses and midwives who graduated from accredited institutions between 2015 and 2018.
Dulani said they all have practising licenses but were yet to be offered formal employment by government.
In a phone interview on Sunday, Secretary for Health Dan Namarika confirmed that qualified nurses have not been working since 2016 due to lack of resources.
However, he said the ministry was working on the recruitment process diligently to fill the huge vacancies in the health sector.
Namarika said: “For those that have stayed two years, it’s a delay. But now we have a budget so there is no reason to delay the recruitment process. We are targeting to see that with the budget that has been provided we need to try and make sure that by first of November some of those people are already reporting for work.”
However, Namarika admitted that “realistically” they could not employ everybody since the budget was limited, especially for long-term recruitment.