The Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) on Tuesday reacted angrily to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s claim that they were using patients as hostages to fight for better salaries.
Chiwenga, who was appointed the new health minister recently, declared that the days of strikes in the health sector are over, saying salaries for health workers had been reviewed.
ZPNU secretary-general Douglas Chikobvu said all that they need is a decent wage to ensure that they can provide decent healthcare to citizens. Said Chikobvu:
Nurses are not in any way using patients as pawns but simply calling for a decent wage that can capacitate them to deliver high-class healthcare to the general citizenry.
Nurses are bio-psychosocial beings who can be affected negatively or positively by socioeconomic factors.
We as nurses are calling on the government to address our plight to cushion us so that we can afford basic needs.
Chikobvu bemoaned the paltry salaries earned by nurses which he said they are insufficient for a decent living.
He implored Chiwenga to appreciate nurses’ concerns and address their plight urgently.