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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Doctors and Nurses strikes
and nurses on strike
Lance Guma, SW Radio Africa
September 28, 2007
the index of articles on the doctors' and nurses' strikes
nurses at Harare's major hospitals are on a go-slow strike protesting
poor salaries and allowances. The strike began last week Friday.
A visit to Harare Central Hospital on Wednesday by our correspondent
confirmed that hundreds of patients have been left stranded as a
result. At the centre of the latest grievance is a government decision
to cut allowances for doctors from Z$8 million to Z$5 million per
month, without notice. Doctors are currently earning around Z$12
million a month after allowances and yet this is way below the Z$90
million they are demanding.
Nurses are also
unhappy at their Z$3,8 million a month salaries, lagging behind
the poverty datum line that shot up to Z$12 million in September.
In the previous strike by doctors, government promised them vehicles
as part of the settlement that ended the industrial action. Month's
down the line government has still not honoured its part of the
deal and doctors are unhappy. Referral clinics around the capital
which traditionally offer cheaper treatment are inundated with patients
desperate for attention. Simon Muchemwa in Harare tells us that
what's worse is that some of these smaller council run clinics now
have nurses who have joined the strike.
The loss of
life caused by the strike is hitting many families hard. Newsreel
understands Emmanuel 'Manu' Jera, a popular guitarist who played
with several bands including Thomas Mapfumo died Wednesday morning
after being left unattended at Harare Hospital. Jera collapsed and
was found unconscious on the streets of Harare suburb Mufakose,
the night before. Because doctors and nurses are on a go slow, no
one was able to attend to him.
UK Daily Mail reports that one fifth of Zimbabwe's trained nurses
were recruited to work in the United Kingdom last year. The UK Home
Office is reported to have issued 1610 work permits for nurses from
the country. All in all 5200 doctors and nurses were hired from
African countries. Figures from the World Health Organisation say
Zimbabwe has less than 9000 nurses, meaning a nurse patient ratio
of 1 for every 1400 people. The UK ratio is 1 for every 156 patients.
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