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Doctors’ industrial action spreads

THE strike by public hospital doctors, which until yesterday had remained confined to Harare Central, Parirenyatwa and Mpilo Central hospitals, has reportedly spilled over to United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) amid fears the industrial action could spread to all the country’s provincial health centres.


Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Parirenyatwa Hospital.

The doctors, who are affiliated to the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association, downed tools last week to press the government to, among other issues, retain their contracts upon completion of their internship, review their on-call allowances and allow them duty-free car imports.

The situation at most of the affected hospitals remained dire yesterday with nurses and a few senior doctors only attending to emergencies.

In a letter addressed to health directors at UBH, the striking doctors said: “Due to the ongoing strike by junior doctors, we are finding it difficult to cope with the workload, therefore, we have resolved to attend to ‘dire’ cases and emergencies only. We will only resume duties once the outstanding issues have been resolved. We hope the impasse is resolved immediately for the benefit of our patients.”

The letter was copied to Health minister David Parirenyatwa, who yesterday was reportedly on a tour of some of the affected hospitals to get an appreciation of the situation on the ground.

He could not be reached for comment.

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