Health Crisis Deepens As Specialist Doctors Withdraw Services

The health situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate as specialist senior doctors, who are helping keep public hospitals running during the two-month strike by junior doctors, have reiterated. Hospitals have become ghost towns now, including maternity clinics are also facing collapse and now the health time bomb is exploding with senior doctors registering to join the strike.

Health Crisis  Deepens As Specialist Doctors Withdraw Services

The health situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate as specialist senior doctors, who are helping keep public hospitals running during the two-month strike by junior doctors, have reiterated.

Hospitals have become ghost towns now, including maternity clinics are also facing collapse and now the health time bomb is exploding with senior doctors registering to join the strike.

Senior doctors have on Wednesday released a statement saying that the government is vindictive forcing them to sign disciplinary letters to come back to work despite that they are incapacitated.

“As we speak, disciplinary letters are being handed out to senior doctors, including those who have been doing their best to save lives in the hostile public sector. The authorities are so vindictive that they went to theatre to hand a letter to a doctor who was finishing up an emergency operation.

“For the record, senior doctors will not be re-applying to come back to work. We do not accept that one can be dismissed for being incapacitated to come to work in an unsafe environment with nothing to use. We reiterate we are not on strike,” saying that their employer, the government, has no interest or intention to the crisis in the health sector.

The country is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, with public-sector workers saying they cannot even afford transport to go to work.

Nurses are now working a three-day week, citing poor salaries.

The government said that in November it had doubled doctors’ salaries to about ZWL2,000 ($130), but the doctors want their pay to be pegged to the US dollar to stop their earnings being eroded by inflation. At more than 300%, Zimbabwe’s inflation is the second highest in the world after Venezuela.

Pregnant women are now seeking refuge in midwives and delivering babies in an unhealthy environment.