Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Harare Municipal medical staff are trickling to work following engagements between representatives and the municipality, which has seen October salaries paid on Wednesday and commitments for a salary review. By yesterday, all council clinics had re-opened, but manned by few nurses.
Speaking to The Herald, City Health Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said by day end, all 67 sisters-in-charge had reported for duty, while 44 out of 176 nurses had also turned up for work.
“The situation seems to be improving and we look forward to further improvements as the week draws to an end since they received their salaries yesterday,” he said.
“Today, we were able to open all facilities and our worry is that patients are no longer coming in their anticipated numbers.”
Dr Chonzi said the municipality will continue engaging with the employees’ representatives for review of their salaries.
Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Nurses Workers Union president Mr Simbarashe Tafirenyika said the municipality has agreed that no one will be penalised for being absent.
“We are looking forward to the further engagements with the authorities on salary reviews,” he said.
Harare City Council nurses stopped reporting for work on Monday citing incapacitation.
Although gross salaries for most nurses is between $1 000 and $1 500, most take home an average of $900 due to other deductions, which include personal loans.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Guo Shaochun said his country was willing to support council’s Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital.
Speaking after paying a courtesy call to Harare mayor councillor Herbert Gomba, he said his country will help particularly in research.
“We will tour council hospitals and if we are satisfied we will liaise with our doctors in China so that they come to Zimbabwe and give aid in those medical institutions,” he said.
Ambassador Guo said China remained committed to supporting Harare’s water projects.
“A Chinese enterprise is conducting the project of the water supply in Harare, now Harare needs more support, during the meeting I learnt more about demand of water supply in Harare,” he said.
“I think it is very important for the Chinese Embassy to push more for the provision of water services.”
Speaking after the meeting, Clr Gomba said: “His Excellency, the Chinese Ambassador has promised to visit our hospitals, he wants to see for himself and at the end of it he would want to use his influence to assist us in hospitals that we have.
“He was talking of the need of even asking Chinese doctors in China to come and work within the municipal if he is satisfied after his visit.”
Cllr Gomba said they discussed how the embassy could help the city to craft more deals to address water woes.