Mpilo Nurses Strike Over Poor Working Conditions

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

NURSES at Mpilo hospital in Bulawayo on Monday held a demonstration at the referral health centre over deteriorating working conditions.

The placard wielding health care workers accused the hospital’s management of ill-treatment while the senior officers enjoy lucrative benefits from the government.

When visited the hospital, the nurses had just finished demonstrating but they had not yet dispersed.

“We are working like slaves at this hospital. We are forced to carry patients using our hands because the lifts have not been working for the past five years. To make matter worse, we do not have protective clothing to wear while carrying the patients,” said one of the nurses who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

The nurses also accused the hospital’s management of living luxurious lives at the expense of suffering ordinary workers.

“I think the management do not care about our plight because their welfare is well catered for. For example, they receive hefty allowances for fuel and airtime while we do not get anything at all. Last week, they left the whole hospital in darkness after failing to source diesel for the generator yet they can afford to fuel their own cars,” said another nurse.

The workers also claimed patients at the hospital were being fed with cabbage everyday while management was served with scrumptious food from the hospital‘s canteen. Management was also accused of forcing the nurses to work four days in 12 hour shifts.

When reached for comment, the hospital’s clinical director Solwayo Ngwenya said he was not aware of the demonstrations since he was on leave.

“I am on leave and I will be back on the 16th of March,” he said.

The hospital’s chief executive, Leonard Mabandi, also refused to comment before referring the questions back to Ngwenya.

“I am in Harare. Please talk to the clinical director,” the CEO said.