The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) has called on the government to urgently address s concerns raised by healthcare workers who went on strike this week demanding better working conditions.
The strike has crippled an already ailing sector which has left millions of healthcare seekers in dire need of assistance.
State health workers this Monday embarked on an indefinite strike saying their wages and salaries have been eroded by inflation. They rejected a 100% salary increase offered by the government saying this was below inflation which is now around 137%.
“This is a giant reversal of the gains made by the country under the International Labour Organisation Decent Work Country Programme for Zimbabwe from 2012 to 2015. The programme set out to ensure social justice in the world of work for all Zimbabweans, with its priorities being to promote productive employment and decent jobs, to improve the application and implementation of International Labour Standards, and to increase coverage of social protection as well as to guarantee a secure form of employment and safe working conditions,” CZC said in a statement.
“We, therefore, call on the Minister of Health and Child Care, Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Vice President of the country to seize to be an absentee Minister and come out to attend to the crisis in the health sector which, if unabated, can have consequences on the lives of Zimbabweans who depend on nurses and doctors for their well-being,” the statement further reads.
On Monda, the Health Apex Council met with the government to map the way forward but the meeting was futile, revealed Lloyd Sarai, the council’s secretary.
“Yesterday (Monday) we met our bosses and they acknowledged that they owe us. Last year through the budget, the finance minister announced they had set aside funds to cater for our regrading.
“We have been pushing to say so where are we now. Yesterday they came and said the money is in the budget and it will be available in July, but there is nothing,” he said,
In Zimbabwe, private health care remains beyond the reach of many due to exorbitant prices.
CZC said urged Zimbabwean workers to join the nurses and doctors in solidarity as well as to amplify the call for the government to implement people-centred policies