The Government has said it has reinstated striking health workers on the payroll after withholding their salaries in July in line with its ‘no-work-no-pay’ principle.
However, the striking nurses told the Government that despite receiving their salaries, they will not return to work until their demands are met.
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Nurses are demanding the restoration of their pre-October 2018 salaries, where the lowest-paid health worker earned roughly US$500, and also adequate personal protective equipment (PPEs).
Health Services Board (HSB) deputy director public relations, Tryfine Rachael Dzvukutu on Thursday said all nurses, including those on strike were receiving their salaries and US$75 COVID-19 allowances.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) president Enock Dongo said while nurses are keen on returning to work, they are incapacitated to do so.
While some nurses are still reporting for duty, they are not attending to patients as they do not have PPEs. Said Dongo:
We hear the plea for the health workers to return to work and save lives, we want to and appreciate the call but we are still incapacitated, morale among health workers is low. Some might report for work but they will be doing nothing.
Patients will be turned away. Like today (yesterday) I was at Harare Hospital and nurses were just seated turning away patients because they don’t have PPEs, even gloves to attend to patients they don’t have.
The government must pay us a decent wage and avail PPE and we will return to work.