DOCTORS Strike: ‘Situation at hospitals appalling’

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By Anna Chibamu

RELATIVES of  patients admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare have expressed frustration with treatment being given to their loved ones at the country’s largest referral centre as the junior doctors strike continues.

The job action is now its second week with the doctors defying government appeals that they return work.

In interviews with earlier this week, most people urged the administration to urgently address the doctors grievances to prevent the unnecessary loss of life.

“Ido not want to beat around the bush,” said the husband of an expectant mother who preferred not to be identified.

“The situation is pathetic; no public relations, but in terms of treatment something must be done.

“My wife is pregnant, and she needs that optimum care. Just imagine, being cared forby someone who does not have enough knowledge on how to help such a patient; it’s bad.”

He added; “The government needs to be serious.

“Ido not see why the government must think twice about giving doctors their demands. These people are next to God, we cannot run away from that.

“I cannot go to private doctors who are charging in forex. Trying to imagine where I can get such money is something else.

“I do not know now what to do. The situation in this country has gone to the dogs.

“It is now all up to the government to see what it can do to help this nation.

“The situation is terrible, and some people must swallow their pride.”

A father of two whose son had severe diarrhoea added, “My son is sick, the doctor, one senior doctor is attending to him.

“But in other wards I heard that some are being turned away especially, the elderly because there are no doctors.”

Francis Mwendambere of Glen View suburb expressed anger over government officials who seek treatment outside while locals die due to lack of medication.

“We have a real challenge in this country. So many things are happening now,” he said.

“Our ministers and some government officials go outside to seek treatment outside when they fall sick, but we expect them to look after the public and make provisions for them also to be treated locally.

“The officials should see how people are suffering. Our government has never been honest, even on the fuel issue, they are not telling the truth. This country has no medication.” Mwendambere stated.

Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo urged the striking doctors to return to work whilst their issues are deliberated on.

“We appreciate the work of doctors who have continued to save under such conditions, and , as government, we urge the junior doctors to go back to work whilst we try and resolve the issue,” said the ministers.

The doctors want government to address the shortage of critical medicines and other provisions in hospitals as well as pay salaries in US dollars.