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Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Strike Draws In Nurses And Support Staff

  • Fazila Mohammed

An ongoing strike by junior and senior resident doctors in Zimbabwean state hospitals, bolstered by a walkout by a broad range of hospital medical and support staff, have crippled services with patients waiting hours for care or being turned away.

But despite deteriorating conditions at the hospitals their medical staff say they plan to continue their job action until demands for increased pay and allowances are met.

The latest round of hospital strikes began last week with junior and senior residents at Parirenyatwa Hospital and Harare Hospital demanding an increase in their monthly salaries to Z$70 million (US$1,400) a month plus US$3,000 in auto loans.

Residents at state hospitals in Bulawayo, the country's second largest city, joined the strike a day later, and over the weekend other health care staff in Harare including nurses, nursing aides, laboratory staff, radiologists, pharmacists, food service workers and laundry staff walked out, leading to a total paralysis of operations.

Hospital Doctor's Association President Amon Siveregi said his members sympathized with patients who were unable to receive treatment, but said the residents could not turn back until hospital authorities and the government meet their demands.

Siveregi told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his association met with officials at Parirenyatwa Hospital Monday afternoon, but were not satisfied with the outcome of that discussion.

Correspondent Fazila Mohammed visited some of the hospitals affected by the strikes and interviewed ordinary Zimbabweans caught up in the health care crisis.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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