BUSINESS at Harare Central Hospital briefly came to a standstill yesterday when MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa, visited the health institution to apprise himself with the impact of the ongoing doctors’ strike which has spread to all public hospitals in the country.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Nurses, patients visitors stampeded to catch a glimpse of the opposition leader as Chamisa and his security team toured the health facility. Some patients could be heard calling on Chamisa to visit their hospital beds, while others exhorted him to form the next government and urgently restore sanity in the health sector.
Chamisa said he was saddened by the state of affairs at the institution and sided with the striking doctors, saying their strike was genuine and needed to be addressed.
“Mr (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa cannot continue with his mantra that the country is open for business when it is not open for health. The country’s medical staff work under very difficult conditions and the government had to prioritize the health of its citizens, surely how doctors can earn around $300 per month which is lower than what a cleaner at Zesa is earning,” he said.
The MDC Alliance presidential candidate accused the government of being heartless and not caring for the doctors and the patients who were suffering because of its skewed priorities.
“It shows we have a government of people who are heartless, people don’t have sensitivity to the plight of the majority of our people. We need to make sure that we deal with this problem and deal with it once and for all this is why we are calling on this government to be serious.
“If the crisis is beyond their capacity they must simply be able to be frank enough to the people of Zimbabwe, but also to the government in waiting to say that we are overwhelmed please help us,” Chamisa said.
Nurses who spoke to NewsDay on condition they were not named said working conditions at the hospital had sunk to sickening levels because of the absence of basic tools of the trade.
Chamisa was accompanied by the party’s health secretary Ruth Labode, secretary for elections Murisi Zwizwai, MDC-T Harare provincial chairperson Eric Murai, national youth chairperson Happymore Chidziva, deputy treasurer-general Charlton Hwende, several MPs and other senior officials in the party.