Army medics take over Zimbabwe hospitals

February 22, 2017, 12:24 pm


Zimbabwe has deployed army medics to work at major public hospitals following a week-long strike by junior doctors who are demanding an increase in call allowances and a duty free car facility, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Gerald Gwinji, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, said the doctors’ strike had put pressure on public hospitals, which were already struggling with shortages of drugs and under-funding from the government.

“When some people are not coming to work there is bound to be an impact on service delivery and because these cadres (doctors) on strike are at the first level of care, the impact is even greater,” Gwinji said.

“In some instances we have deployed cadres from the uniformed forces to help in reducing the pressure.”

The paediatric and maternity sections were the worst affected, Edgar Munatsi, the president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, which called the strike, told Reuters.

Munatsi said doctors wanted their call allowances to be increased to $10 an hour from the current $1.20. He said more than 400 doctors were staying away from work, warning that senior doctors could also join the strike.

“So the doctors are insisting that the government has to offer something on the table on the issue of call allowances and the duty free car facility as promised. Without that, they are not going back,” said Munatsi.

At Parirenyatwa Hospital, Zimbabwe’s largest public hospital in Harare, non-critical patients were being turned away and referred to local clinics run by city councils.

United Bulawayo Hospitals in the country’s second city Bulawayo put out a notice saying that due to the doctors’ strike “we have resolved to attend to ‘dire’ emergencies only.”

Doctors in the southern African nation last embarked on a major strike in 2014 demanding higher call allowances, but returned to work after President Robert Mugabe’s government promised to increase them and provide a car facility which would allow doctors to import vehicles and not pay the duty.

Last July, doctors joined nurses, teachers and other civil servants in a national shutdown over unpaid wages, which coincided with anti-government protests called by social media groups over a deteriorating economy

Source: nan

Follow us on Twitter @theglobengr



Like this story? Get on the list for's FREE!.

Related News


High Court Barred The Government From Arresting Nation Media Group (NMG) Journalists Linus Kaikai

High Court on Friday barred the Government from arresting Nation Media Group (NMG) journalists Linus Kaikai, Larry Madowo and Ken Mijungu. Justic....

Raila Odinga Has Taken ‘Oath’As The President Of The Republic Of Kenya.

After days of anxiety and a postponement in December 12, 2017, Raila Odinga has taken ‘oath’ as the President of the Republic of Kenya.


Tuface, Annie in Benue To Support Flood Victims

The popular musician, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as TuFace, has arrived at the camp for internally displaced persons in Makurdi, the Benue St....

UEFA Extends Kit Assistance Scheme to 2022

UEFA has extended its successful Kit Assistance Scheme, which supports Europe’s smaller national associations....

We're ready to prove Judiciary wrong, says Uhuru, asks IEBC to set dates

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the electoral agency to announce the dates for the repeat presidential elections as soon as possible.