Johannesburg – Junior doctors in Zimbabwe have gone on strike over sub-standard conditions, including poor working conditions, low salaries and shortages of basic medicines and equipment.
Pindula News reported on Monday that the doctors have justified their strike action citing the many challenges they are forced to endure.
The strike is said to have affected the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Chitungwiza and Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo. However, Mpilo Central clinical director Solwayo Ngwenya on Sunday denied that the doctors had gone on strike.
He claimed that the hospital was functioning normally and the strike had been ineffective in his area despite medical colleagues of the doctors in Harare unsuccessfully attempting to get the Mpilo doctors to join their strike.
But a Newsday source at Mpilo Hospital said that the doctors held a meeting and had agreed to go on strike as well.
The doctors are disgruntled over their salaries eroded by the hyper-inflation gripping Zimbabwe in its post-coup and post-election climate. They argue their salaries are almost worthless and have demanded that they get paid in US dollars.
They are also demanding an improvement in their working conditions, incorporating protective equipment at work and that their locum allowances be paid. The introduction of non-medical chief executive officers at health institutions is another issue that is upsetting the junior doctors who claim that their lack of medical knowledge is exacerbating working conditions.
African News Agency (ANA)