BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA
Opposition Zimbabwe Democratic and Economic Freedom Party (ZDEFP) president Edith Chibhamu has accused the government of failing to address to health professionals’ poor working conditions.
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, Chibhamu said government must prioritise health professionals and desist from threatening them for demanding a living wage.
“It is unimaginable that a government fails to pay health workers, but forces them to attend work or else they don’t get paid. Health workers are an essential service provider and their role cannot be reduced to such low levels. People are now dying in hospitals because they cannot access professional medication,” Chibhamu said.
“Our professionals are not rewarded satisfactorily resulting in them flocking out of the country for greener pastures. Pregnant women are sleeping in corridors waiting for health professionals who will never show up because they are disgruntled.”
Chibhamu, a former Zanu PF member, said she left the ruling party because of high-level corruption in the party.
“When Zanu PF leaders get sick, they go to foreign hospitals for medical attention. Why do they go to foreign hospitals when they are supposed to be treated in the country?” she asked.
Chibhamu’s comments came as health professionals and teachers have threatened to embark on industrial action starting today.
The public service employees have cited incapacitation and are demanding that the government should reward them with salaries that correspond with the cost of living.
Last week, the health workers wrote to the Health Service Board and Public Service Commission announcing that they would withdraw their service with effect from today.
Salary talks between government and the civil servants ended in a stalemate on Friday after the workers shot down a 100% pay rise offered by their employer.
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