‘Act on health workers’ grievances’

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BY VANESSA GONYE
THE Health Services Board (HSB) has been urged to expeditiously look into matters raised by the country’s healthcare workers who engaged in strike action last week calling for better wages and working conditions.

On Monday, nurses and doctors called off a strike saying they would give negotiations a chance after being coerced to go back to work.

However, nothing tangible has yet emerged from the wage negotiations.

In a statement yesterday, the Health Professions Authority of Zimbabwe (HPAZ) said it was dangerous to have health workers working under duress and surrounded by such challenges as a weakening economy and poor working conditions.

“When healthcare workers down tools, it is the patients whose lives are endangered as they are deprived of the efficient professional services they require. Without in any way undermining the calls by the healthcare workers, we hereby urge them to empathise with their patients and continue dialogue while providing their much needed services by going back to their respective workstations,” the HPAZ said.

In a joint statement on Monday, the Women and Law in Southern Africa Katswe Sistahood, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Africa Trust and the Women’s Action Group expressed fear that the discontent among health personnel in the country would negatively affect women’s health issues, including their access to maternal health and sexual reproductive health
rights.

“Health service personnel are essential to the provision of quality and effective health service delivery. Therefore, we call upon the government of Zimbabwe in particular the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Health Service Board and responsible parties to accelerate their response to the concerns and working conditions raised by the health personnel in the nation,” a statement by the organisations partly read.

The Health Services Board could not be reached for comment.

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