Tanaka Mahanya Features writer
Nurses’ move to negotiate with the Government on cost of living adjustments will go a long way in ensuring easy access to health services countrywide.
Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (ZINA) president Mr Enock Dongo said while their members’ salaries remained low, they had negotiated for other non-monetary benefits of a long-term nature.
“Yes, we are yet to get a meaningful adjustment from the employer, but as ZINA we have also managed to negotiate for other incentives which are valuable to the profession as a whole and have long-term benefits,” he said.
The Government is putting a lot of effort to ensure that all sectors have adequate salaries through talks, to help in reaching a common ground between the two.
A negotiation between the health sector and the Government will guarantee that nurses are readily available in clinics to take care of patients.
The outcome of nurses strikes mostly impacts on the patients who do not have a say in the salaries they receive and cannot do anything about it.
Poor outcomes associated with strikes show that they might reduce hospital productivity and lead to the suffering of innocent patients.
Last year, some medical facilities were closed due to nurses’ strike. This resulted in many patients who failed to acquire medical attention returning home.
In December 2017, nurses temporarily brought business to a halt at different health institutions, because they were failing to negotiate with the Government on their desired salaries.
Though Government is failing to provide them with the desired salaries, nurses have to consider ethics first, and salaries later. Instead of letting patients die in clinics and hospitals, it is important that they carry on with their jobs as their salaries are being negotiated.
This will improve easy access to health services, with nurses putting their patients first when attending to emergency and non-emergency hospital situations.
After all, nurses recite the Florence Nightingale oath on recruitment as they pledge to do all in their power to maintain and elevate the standard of the profession, hold in confidence all personal matters committed to their keeping and all family affairs coming to their knowledge in the practice of the calling.