Hundreds die, Parirenyatwa ‘worried’

Nurses and junior doctors have vowed to continue with their industrial action pressing for salary increases, as many die because of the fast-crumbling health delivery system. Health minister, David Parirenyatwa said the situation at government hospitals was "getting increasingly

worrisome” as hundreds of people die for want professional attention and treatment.
Members of the nurses and junior doctors associations told The Zimbabwean they wouldn’t be moved by threats to dismiss them. “We are demanding nothing but salary increases that are in line with the cost of living,” a junior doctor said. “If someone believes they can bring us back to work through intimidation, then good luck to them. We want salaries of at least Z$20 million with immediate effect.”
Nurses are demanding a minimum of Z$15 million as a starting salary, compared to less than $1 million currently on the table. “Most of us are simply waiting for the opportunity to leave the country and are even prepared to go and do menial jobs in other countries rather than continue with this circus,” said one nurse.
The health delivery system heads for a real catastrophe with reports that Parirenyatwa’s ministry is currently doing an audit at government hospitals to determine the extent of the mass exodus of health personnel. reports suggest that about 40 percent of doctors and nurses, in an already understaffed fraternity, have left between November last year and last month.
A visit to major hospitals in Harare revealed that most departments have been closed except outpatients and casualty departments, which are manned by skeleton staff. The busiest of all are the mortuaries.
The situation is exacerbated by the permanent, acute shortage of drugs, for which foreign currency is required.

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