Nurses' strike: Govt orders hospitals to provide bus fare

HARARE - Amid fears of a health catastrophe if nurses and doctors down tools, government has ordered all State-run hospitals to provide bus fare to the angry and frustrated health workers who are yet to be paid their December salaries and promised bonuses.

Early this week, nurses and doctors warned government that they would down tools if they did not get their salaries on December 29 and 30th respectively as they would not have the bus fare to take them to work.

In a statement the Zimbabwe Nurses Association said their “meagre salaries” were not enough to stretch beyond December 31 and thus they would not have means to travel to work.

This was after government shifted their pay dates for the umpteenth time to January 5 next year.

But in a quick-fix measure, the ministry of Health wrote to the country’s provincial medical directors and hospital chief executive officers imploring them to make “contingency plans.”

In a circular, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Health and Child Care Gerald Gwinji said measures should be put in place to ensure that those in critical areas are at work between now and their promised pay day.

“Following the threat of work stoppage by some health workers…. and the attendant transport challenges, you are hereby requested to make contingent plans to ensure that all hospital critical areas are adequately staffed and remain functional during the period 1-5 January 2016.

“All institutions are required to provide support to health workers in critical areas by providing transport or bus fare. As usual my office will require a daily update on coverage from all stations during this period,” said Gwinji.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association spokesperson Francis Rwodzi said healthcare workers should brace for tougher times ahead as this could be an omen of things to come.

“We call upon government to immediately come up with an alternative funding model for health workers’ salaries as we foresee a turbulent 2016 should this anaemic and lethargic approach to health workers’ salaries continue,” he said.

Comments (6)

Where are the underfunded hospitals supposed to find money for transportation when the government is incapable of doing the same.

Murambatsvina - 31 December 2015

zvazoshata

zvedi - 1 January 2016

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Brian - 1 January 2016

Inga zviri pachena kuti nyika yafa. Dai ndaive Pare ndaingoti neniwo tools down. But naiyewo akawora saka haasiye chigaro.

mudede - 1 January 2016

Inga zviri pachena kuti nyika yafa. Dai ndaive Pare ndaingoti neniwo tools down. But naiyewo akawora saka haasiye chigaro.

mudede - 1 January 2016

lets go back and form the inclusive government.

karoi karoi - 2 January 2016

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