Chaos as doctors and nurses go on strike over Coronavirus. The doctors and nurses both cited the lack of protective clothing to protect them from the dangers of the coronavirus as their reason for downing tools. In a disturbing development, Zimbabwean doctors and nurses went on strike on Wednesday in the middle of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) wrote to the government advising them that they do not have the necessary tools to allow them to work on the frontlines fighting the deadly coronavirus. Below is the full letter from the ZHDA,
The Clinical Director
Chief Executive Officers
Harare Central Hospital
Re: Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
Pursuant to the meeting we had on Monday 23 March 2020, in which we communicated to you our genuine grievances and expressed our fears concerning this deadly pandemic which has not spared healthcare workers as well.
We expected an urgent response in writing from your office which has not come up until now. We have expressed to you the issue of PPE which is still not yet available. The way in which the Hospital is to be functioning still remains vague.
Whilst you continue to run around putting things in place we would like to make it clear in no uncertain terms that our members will not be able to continue carrying out their duties with immediate effect.
Any inconvenience caused regarding this position we have taken is sincerely regrettable but it was necessitated by a communication breakdown between the top management and frontline doctors.
Given the urgency of the matter and the need for social distancing, a hardcopy version of the same letter will be hand-delivered when the conditions are permissive.
Dr Tawanda Zvakada
The nurses also joined the doctors on strike citing the same issues. However, in addition to concerns about the lack of personal protective equipment, the nurses are also demanding a risk allowance and for the authorities to fix the water situation.
In a notice dated 25 March and addressed to members, the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) said:
Following our letter that was presented to our employer 48 hours ago, informing them to urgently attend to our demands as frontline workers, it seems our concerns are not getting the urgency it deserves.
So, in that regard, all nurses are withdrawing their services with immediate effect until there is genuine action taken by the employer.
We will only get back to work once our concerns have been swiftly acted upon.
NO PPE NO WORK
NO CORONA RISK ALLOWANCE NO WORK
NO WATER NO WORK.
Source – iHarare
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