Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
THE Higher Life Foundation (HLF) has received more than 300 applications from doctors around the country in response to its recently announced Training Fellowship for junior and senior medical practitioners and will reward the successful applicants with a ZWL$5 000 once off payment this month over and above the ZWL$5 000 monthly allowance per doctor it pledged.
HLF last week launched a $100 million Training Fellowship for doctors at Government hospitals to benefit 2 000 junior and senior medical officers.
The scholarship will last for six months, with funding contingent upon fellows remaining enrolled in their programmes for that period and satisfying all requirements.
The fellowship includes a non-negotiable allowance of ZWL$5 000 per doctor per month for a maximum of 2 000 doctors.
In a statement yesterday, HLF Chief Executive Officer, Dr Kennedy Mubaiwa, said said doctors who applied for the fellowship and were successful, would receive a further once off allowance for the month of December as they were most likely to be working under pressure when on call due to incidents that come with the festive season.
He said successful fellowship applicants willing to be on call or on duty during the festive season between December 9 and January 9, 2020 will receive an additional ZWL$5 000 from their fellowship fund, raising their total figure for December 2019 to ZWL$10 000.
Dr Mubaiwa reiterated that the fellowship comes into effect as soon as a doctor reports for work, but that it would fall away if they do not report for work by January 2, 2020.
He said the fellowship would, among other things, assist doctors in completing rotations within public health institutions “while providing the much-needed health services to the citizens of Zimbabwe”.
Other perks include provision of smartphones as tools of trade, a Vaya carpool voucher to access the hospital with a maximum of three trips per day and access to $10 million for stethoscopes, patella hammers, uniforms and other diagnostic aids and WiFi at major teaching hospitals across the country.
Dr Mubaiwa also announced an arrangement with Vaya Mobility, where Vaya would extend its free transport service to nurses by a further six months for an estimated value of about ZWL$$900 per month, per nurse.
He said his organisation was happy with the response by doctors to the fellowship offer and revealed that 365 medical officers had since applied for the scheme.
“The response has been overwhelming to an extent that we had to move the deadline for submissions from 5PM to 10PM (on Wednesday),” said Dr Mubaiwa.
He said the HLF team was in the process of reviewing all submissions and would respond to successful applicants today.
Dr Mubaiwa appealed to doctors to attend to patients particularly during the festive season despite the ongoing labour wrangle with their employer.
“As we head into the festive season, we all know that unfortunately it is a season characterised by a high likelihood of injuries and fatalities, particularly due to road accidents. In light of that, we are appealing to approved applicants of this Fellowship, that is anyone who applied for and is accepted to the Fellowship, to commit to covering our hospitals during this critical time, regardless of the ongoing labour dispute which we respect,” he said. — @andile_tshuma