Economic problems to blame for health crisis

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

ZIMBABWE’s growing economic problems are the cause of the crisis in the health sector, nurses working in health centres across the country’s local authorities have said.

Council nurses are demanding a review of their ‘paltry’ salaries which they say can only cover transport allowances.

While government has threatened them with disciplinary hearings the health workers remained unmoved and vowed to press on with their job action until their grievances are satisfactorily addressed.

Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Nurses Worker’s Union (ZURCNWU), secretary general, Tedious Chisango told journalists a press conference, Thursday, that as the economic problems continue the health sector has suffered the most.

“As health workers we see that the health delivery system of this nation has been highly affected by the economy and has deteriorated,” Chisango said.

Like nurses, doctors are up in arms with government and have not reported for work in over two months.

The medical practitioners are currently undergoing disciplinary hearings for participating in an ‘illegal’ industrial action.

A total of 286 doctors have been fired to date with the number expected to increase by the 27th of November when HSB conducts its last hearings.

Public hospitals no longer offer meaningful service as they are short of machinery.

Medicines are now out of the reach of many owing to exorbitant price hikes and doctors are not reporting for work.

Junior doctors representative body, Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors Association (ZHDA) who share the same view said government officials have not prioritised reforming the health sector given they have access to foreign medical institutions.

“Government officials and people in high offices go elsewhere for health care so they don’t care about the state of the health institutions in the country.,” said ZHDA treasurer general, Tapiwa Mungofa.