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Doctors strike

Lucia Makamure

HOSPITAL doctors yesterday downed tools after government cut their September salaries by 25%.

Information to hand shows tha

t the government has cut the doctors’ on-call allowances.

In pay slips shown to the Zimbabwe Independent the doctors were in July paid almost $8 million in on-call allowances, but this month the figure was just over $5,6 million, while the medical allowance was reduced from $4,1 million to $2,9 million.

Representatives of the striking doctors told the Independent this week that industrial action was the only language the government understands.

“Over the years we have realised that government only engage with us when we strike,” said Amon Severegi, the president of the Hospital Doctors Association.

Severegi said efforts to get the government to explain the cuts have not been fruitful as the responsible authorities have refused to address them.

“We have tried our best to get the government to explain why our allowances were cut, but they have remained tight-lipped,” said Severegi.

Last month, the doctors wrote to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare asking about the cars they were promised when they went on strike in June.

Doctors, like many other professionals in Zimbabwe, are forced to adjust their lifestyles due to the economic problems facing the nation.

“We go to work on empty stomachs and sometimes we skip lunch yet we are the same people entrusted with the lives of patients,” Severegi said.

Simbarashe Ndoda, who is also a junior doctor at Parirenyatwa Hospital, echoed the same sentiments.

“This strike is not only about money, but we want the government to do something about our living conditions. We have four or more doctors sharing a single room which has only one bed in it and nothing else and they expect us not to complain,” said Ndoda.

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