Government says the just ended nurses’ nationwide strike which almost paralyzed the country’s health delivery system was justified, considering the poor remunerations they have been getting. Early this week, government called off the strike, promising that it would review the allowances that the nurses were getting.
The nurses were being paid $3 after working 7 days of night duty, an allowance they said was a mockery.
They were also complaining of the unfair grading system, an issue which they said had been on the agenda since 2010. During negotiations with government nurses requested $150 per 7-day night shift, but they settled for $70 per seven-day shift, a figure which was also endorsed by the Health Services Board. In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com on the side lines of MSF/Doctors without Borders official launch of scientific findings on cervical cancer screening in Harare, Thursday, Health Services Board chairperson Dr Lovemore Mumbengeranwa, who was standing in for the Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa at the event, said the strike was justified.
“Their concerns were genuine; considering what they do the pay was too little. So we managed to get something from treasury for them. Now, depending on one’s grade, they are being paid well. “We still feel it’s not enough but we all know the financial environment in which we are all living in. The Government is willing to improve the figures resources being made available”. The situation had gone out of hand to the extent that referral institutions like Harare and Parirenyatwa hospitals were no longer taking in new patients from local clinics.