Joice 27 May 2019
(c) The threat by nurses in public hospitals to down tools over poor
salaries is worrisome not only to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s
administration but more so for the ordinary citizens.
Already the ordinary citizens are failing to get the necessary attention
when they go to public hospitals due to lack of medication, insufficient
doctors and nurses that are disgruntled.
In most hospitals it is the nurses that take the bulk of the work in
taking care of patients, and if they down tools right now when the health
system is already on it’s knees, this means that more and more people will
lose their lives because they will not get the assistance that they need.
According to recent press reports, the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina)
revealed to its members last Thursday that it has given its employer a
14-day notice to deal with its concerns, failure of which they will go on
In a statement to members, Zina said negotiations between the association
and government – through the Health Services Board (HSB) – have failed to
yield positive results.
“Having failed to find a common position with the employer, a deadlock has
been declared,” said Zina.
“We are therefore issuing a notice of intent to embark on an industrial
action in the next 14 days if our grievances are not addressed”.
Zina is demanding a salary increase consistent with the huge jump seen in
the cost living adjustment, flexible working hours, a vehicle loan scheme
and improved working conditions.
The nurses are not the only group of civil servants pushing for better pay
Even though we are not saying that nurses should be ignored or not given
the necessary remuneration, but then the government has to act fast to
ensure that these nurses do not go on strike.
We all know that doctors cannot handle all duties alone but the people who
will suffer the most are ordinary citizens who expect to get a service in
and out of hospital.
Government has to re-engage the nurses and make sure that there is a
solution out of this possible disaster.