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Zimbabwe Doctors Strike Ends After Compromise


ZImbabwe government officials say the nation's doctors have returned to work after a compromise agreement was reached to end their two-month strike.

Health ministry officials say the doctors accepted a compromise offer from the government and returned to work this week.

Hospital Doctors Association President Kuda Nyamutukwa confirmed that the doctors have agreed to go back to work. But he says they remain dissatisfied with the terms of the deal.

Junior doctors began their strike in late December, seeking a large pay increase to cope with Zimbabwe's 1,200 percent annual inflation rate. They were later joined by senior doctors.

The strike virtually paralyzed the public medical facilities on which most Zimbabweans rely. Witnesses say nurses are trying to help emergency cases while other patients sit in waiting rooms for hours or even days at a time.

Zimbabwe is suffering through an economic crisis marked by soaring inflation, high unemployment and a shortage of basic needs like food and fuel.

The government blames the problems on sanctions by Britain, the United States and other Western opponents. Critics blame the government's policies, especially the seizure of white-owned farms that led to a sharp fall in agricultural production.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.