The situation in public hospitals is reportedly continuing to deteriorate as doctors continue on industrial action.
Doctors who are on strike for a couple of weeks now are demanding a 400% salary increase, indexed to the US dollar. They recently rejected the government’s salary offers, which would see the lowest-paid worker earning ZW$1,023.
They have said that their return to work is dependent on the government’s response to their demands. Doctors say that their salaries have been eroded by the soaring inflation to the extent that they are now incapacitated to execute their duties and responsibilities.
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Doctors are no longer reporting for duty amidst reports that some institutions are engaging personnel from the Zimbabwe National Army to stand in their place.
Nurses at Parirenyatwa who spoke to New Zimbabwe on condition of anonymity revealed that dead bodies are left in beds for long periods of time as there are no doctors to validate their deaths. One nurse said:
As it is in the morning three people died but because only a few nurses are working. You know only doctors are allowed to certify a person dead. There was none.
The nurses are now forced to just leave the bodies on their beds until a doctor comes. In this case they had to wait for army doctors.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently urged Health practitioners to “retrieve their collective conscience and to restate their commitment oath that makes their profession sacred”.
He added that the strike was now putting lives of various innocent people in danger.
More: New Zimbabwe