Zim doctors vow to uphold strike

Zimbabwe doctors in public hospitals have vowed to maintain their strike launched last year until their demand for better pay is met, state media reported on Monday.

“We will not return to work until our needs are addressed,” the Herald quoted Hospital Doctors Association (HDA) secretary general Malcom Masikati as saying.

“We have not yet received any communication from either the ministry or Health Services Board. Last year, they [the government] told us our grievances would be addressed this month and we are still waiting for a response,” he said.

Junior doctors had demanded a monthly salary of $2 600 while specialist doctors wanted $4 000 dollars, he said.

The striking doctors have turned down a government offer of a monthly salary of between $150 and $850.

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa has said that unnamed donors had offered to provide health workers to work in public institutions but his ministry had instead requested funds to pay the strikers.

“A number of well-wishers have pledged to give us their health workers to work in public institutions, but we have said no, give us the money so that our staff return to work,” the Herald quoted Parirenyatwa as saying last year.

Health professionals took to the streets last year following a deadly outbreak of cholera.

They called on the government to provide medicine and equipment to combat the epidemic, which has claimed 1 822 lives since August, according to the World Health Organisation.

Major private hospitals in Harare are now charging fees in foreign currency, which ordinary people cannot afford.—Sapa-AFP

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