The Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) has condemned the proposed amendments to the Health Services Act saying it is a drawback to workers’ freedoms.
On Friday, Government gazetted Amendments to the Act which once passed, will require health care providers to give two days’ notice in writing before embarking on a collective job action.
In addition, all medical professionals will be required by law to provide care to patients in a medical emergency or needing critical or intensive care during any legal collective job action.
In an interview with 263Chat, ZPNU secretary general Douglas Chikobvu said Government has the energy to craft oppressive laws while ignoring the plight of workers.
“It is so disturbing that our government is only working tirelessly drafting and amending oppressive Acts ignoring the welfare of the Very workers so that they deliver. By abolishing strikes which is the only way they understand and respond better, workers freedoms have been dealt a big blow and we are now back to ancient days.
“They have marshalled in all combative mechanisms to ensure workers starve without registering their genuine concerns. Resources in healthcare facilities remains an eyesore but unfortunately our government continues ignoring such but only busy working on how to make frontliners docile,” said Chikobvu.
He said the latest developments are a sign that the country’s leadership does not need progressive ideas to transform the health sector.
“The Health Service Amendment Bill is a true reflection that our top leadership has a drought of better, progressive ideas capable of turning around the fortunes of our healthcare delivery. As workers, we are only demanding decent working conditions and decent remuneration not sterile amendments. As we are battling to contain Covid-19 on empty stomachs, government is tirelessly making amendments to further oppress the Very helping hands. It’s unfortunate.” he said.
Under the proposed bill, any worker representative who incites or organises a job action could face up to three years in jail and the changes according to Government are meant to bring back discipline into a profession.