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Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Doctors and Nurses strikes
doctors, nurses strike over pay
MacDonald Dzirutwe, Reuters
December 30, 2007
the index of articles on the doctors' and nurses' strikes
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's
state-employed junior doctors and nurses are on strike for higher
pay, putting further strain on the country's crumbling public healthcare
Doctors and nurses have
staged a series of strikes in recent years as their salaries have
been steadily eroded by the world's highest inflation rate -- currently
officially running at about 8,000 percent in Zimbabwe.
Thousands more continue
to abandon the country in search of better-paid jobs in South Africa,
Britain and Australia, hitting a sector burdened by shortages of
drugs and the effects of HIV and AIDS.
Health Minister David
Parirenyatwa said on Sunday the government was negotiating with
the doctors and nurses to return to work.
"We are talking
to them as we have always done through the Health Services Board
and we hope to reach some agreement soon," Parirenyatwa said.
Doctors earn 60 million
Zimbabwe dollars a month and nurses half that amount.
Student and army doctors
and nurses were staffing government hospitals while the strike continued.
President Robert Mugabe's
government has barred health workers, and those from other essential
services, from striking but doctors and nurses have often defied
Representatives of doctors
and nurses were not immediately available for comment but a Reuters
correspondent saw some patients being turned away early on Sunday
at Parirenyatwa Hospital, the country's largest referral medical
Some student nurses said
the strike had started on Christmas Day and that they were only
tending to serious cases.
"I have been told
to try again in the New Year. There are no doctors," said Martha
Magaya, who had brought her 7-year-old son with a cold. "Should
my son die because people are arguing over pay?" she said.
Staff at private clinics
-- which are more expensive -- have not joined the strike, but most
Zimbabweans receive medical care through cheaper state hospitals
have warned that Zimbabwe is likely to see more strikes in 2008
by dissatisfied workers grappling with an economic recession that
is marked by shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel, and rising
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