HEALTH Minister Sylvia Masebo says government plans to employ more health workers in various categories next year.

Speaking in Parliament, Tuesday, Masebo said government would prioritise health workers who were currently offering services on a voluntary basis during the recruitment process.

She said government was also trying to negotiate for the extension of an internship programme for various health workers which was expected to end on October 30, 2021.

“I want to say that there are various partners including the government that do support the internship programmes. The one being referred to, we are currently trying to negotiate so that it can be extended. There is a plan for extension but it has not yet come through. Those are the steps we are taking. We are aware of the many health workers who are working in various health centers across the country including in Bwacha constituency. Our plans for 2022 are to employ more health workers of various categories. As regards those that are working currently on a voluntary basis and they are not getting paid, we have taken a decision as a Ministry to ensure that as we employ, those will be the ones who will be given first priority. Madam Speaker, I did say last time on the floor of this House that honourable members will need to help. If you look at how we were running the country in the last administration, [it] was a bit chaotic,” said Masebo.

“Members will agree, we have a situation. Madam Speaker, people who have sacrificed and worked were being left out in preference for new people or people who have not even volunteered. So obviously fairness requires that we consider those that are giving a free service whenever there is an opening or a chance. Sometimes the system is such that you find that people have a way of going round either using members of Parliament, Ministers or Directors to get employed at the expense of those that are volunteering for maybe even four or five years. So I hope that as we begin the recruitment process, members of parliament will be able to help and ensure that such loopholes are not allowed. This government wants to run this government in a transparent and open manner.”