Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has said it stands in solidarity with striking health care workers who are demanding better salaries and working conditions.
Healthcare workers at the country’s biggest referral Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals declared in capacitation on Monday with Chitungwiza and Sally Mugabe (formerly Harare Hospital) staff also joining the industrial action.
In a statement, CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the strike is regrettable as the central government has failed to prioritise concerns in one of the important sectors.
“We stand in firm solidarity government health workers who were left with no option but to withdraw their labour on the 20th of June 2022 due to incapacitation and poor working conditions. This is regrettable because the State’s incompetence and failure to address the workers’ concerns and prioritize this critical sector have caused mass suffering to Zimbabweans whose right to affordable, quality health care remains under constant threat.
“The health workers issued a public statement on the 17th of June 2022 indicating that they had repeatedly tried to engage the Health Services Board and the Ministry of Health and Childcare over a fourteen-month period to have their plight addressed without success. They stated that their poor conditions of service had caused chronic brain drain in the health sector with over 4000 resignations in the last three years,” said Mahere
She castigated the bonding of nurses after training and called for an immediate address of the workers’ concerns.
“Instead of engaging with the health workers to address their concerns in good faith, draconian measures have been introduced to illegally prevent health workers from leaving the country, including through the refusal to issue certificates of good standing. We call for the concerns that have been raised to be addressed immediately to ensure that the citizens’ right to health is respected,” she said
As an alternative to the current crisis bedeviling the health sector Mahere said the opposition party once elected into office will among other issues ensure the health care system is properly funded through compliance with the Abuja Declaration which requires 15% of national budgets to be allocated to health delivery.