Service improvement in Harare clinics as more nurses abandon strike

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

SERVICES in Harare’s municipal clinics has almost returned to normal as more nurses have abandoned their strike, city Health Service Department head, Prosper Chonzi has said.

Council nurses embarked on a strike which lasted over two weeks.

They were citing incapacitation and demanding a review of their salaries which they want pegged at the prevailing Zim-dollar interbank rate to the US dollar.

Recently, council increased the nurses’ remuneration by 300%.

According to the city fathers, a significant number of municipal nurses have started reporting for work with few still pressing on with the strike.

Speaking to Monday, Harare City Health Services Head of Department, Chonzi said although the satellite clinics have resumed operations, there was still a shortfall in the number of nurses who came for night duty.

“We are seeing an increase in the numbers that are turning up for work. For example, when we started on the 4th of November, there were only 23 nurses turning up for duty, as of yesterday (Monday), there were 99 who turned up.

“We are actually able to open more facilities and offer more services. We had scaled down on the services we were offering but now most of our satellite clinics are open during the day.

“We still have shortage of night nurses, but I think with time, everything will be normal,” he said.

Chonzi added that as council, they preferred negotiating with their disgruntled health workers as opposed to taking disciplinary action as suggested by government.

“So far, we are consulting but what we are doing is, we are considering the precarious position of council which is to continue the engagement process and that is what has been happening.”