Govt temporarily suspends ban on moonlighting by health workers

Government has temporarily suspended a circular banning health workers from engaging in extra work in the private sector after it received a backlash, a health official said on Saturday.

In a circular addressed to all provincial medical directors, early last week, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kennedy Malama directed that no medical doctor, nurse, midwife, clinical officer or indeed any other public service employee employed in the Ministry of Health shall be allowed to work in any private institution as it was an abrogation of their conditions of service.

However the circular received a backlash from health workers who rejected it, saying there was no law in the country that stops citizens from engaging in extra activities outside their jobs.

But Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said the circular has been withdrawn in order to allow for more consultations with stakeholders.

He said in a statement that a final circular will be issued at the end of this month which will also include views from other stakeholders.

The minister however said the government will not condone a clique of health workers who were only spending 30 percent in delivering services in public health institutions while they spent 70 percent at private institutions.

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