The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA), has exhorted the Government to stop threatening nurses whenever they ask for better remuneration and improved working conditions.
Speaking in an interview with NewsDay on Wednesday ahead of the International Nurses Day commemorations this Thursday, ZINA president Enock Dongo also urged the Government to consider the plight of healthcare workers. Dongo said:
The little strides are not in any way improving the odious state of the health system or the deplorable conditions of the health workers.
We call upon the government to be sincere and dump the sickening penchant for shifting goalposts whenever engagements which revolve around remuneration are in motion.
We sincerely urge our leaders to desist from threats, insensitivity and hypocrisy.
Dongo said nurses cannot celebrate International Nurses Day as they are wallowing in poverty and struggling to make ends meet. He said:
We demand remuneration which is in tandem with or is way above the poverty datum line.
Morale has hit rock bottom in the health sector due to government insensitivity when it comes to the grievances of the health workers. There is nothing to celebrate honestly on this day.
As we commemorate this special day for the health workers, we are in pain due to the continuing brain drain currently occurring in the sector.
Specialist health workers continue to migrate from our nation to either regional or European nations in search of greener pastures.
Our leadership should be alive to this sickening reality and move with speed to curb the brain drain, which is now a festering nemesis.
It should be addressed before the quality of the health system is further compromised.
International Nurses Day is an international day observed around the world on 12 May each year, to mark the contributions that nurses make to society.