Hospitals’ situation dire

Blessings Mashaya

THE situation in hospitals across the country is dire as some maternity units are now operating without nurses who are on strike, the Zimbabwe Senior Hospitals Doctors Association (SHDA) has said.
SHDA said as a result, doctors cannot continue to come to work.

“The situation in hospitals today is untenable. Maternity units are running without nurses. Patients are alone or with students while their relatives are limited in visiting. Nurses cannot come to work. No doctor can continue in these circumstances,” SHDA wrote on its twitter account.


“The bond money failed. What other sign do the authorities want to appreciate this money failed? We don’t want this useless money in our bank accounts again. This money is threatening us all with starvation. No to payment in RTGS money while the USD goes to … (name supplied)!”

This comes as the nurses are demanding that their salaries be paid in United States (US) dollars in full while the government on the other hand has indicated that it has no capacity to pay the salaries in foreign currency exclusively.
Last month, nurses staged demonstrations across the country protesting a salary cut.
The government reacted by offering them together with other civil servants a 50 percent salary increment and US$75 Covid-19 allowance.
Nurses unions’ rejected the latest offer and called on their members to continue withdrawing their services while appealing to those who have been reporting to work to join the strike, saying that the government had not demonstrated commitment to address their incapacitation.
The nurses recently wrote a letter to the government saying if they continue to pay their salaries in local currency, they would have to be paid not less than $200 000 monthly.
“If we are to negotiate for an RTGS amount, according to the above calculation, our salaries will be pegged at $203 332, which by merely looking at it, is unrealistic.
“We are aware that there have been efforts to misrepresent the position of the nurses by some quarters. We do not see it necessary to comment on this, but we would want to factually bring you into our situation as to why our members are demanding payment in US$.
“Our economy is dollarising under the watch and sanction of the government. Charging and payment of goods and services is now principally done in US$ following the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 85 of 2020 on March 29, 2020,” the letter reads.

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