Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Sunday News Reporter
THE strike by nurses entered its second day on Tuesday as the health workers are now appealing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene and save the situation from imploding.
Major public hospitals in the country were on Tuesday discharging and turning away non critical cases, leaving many patients stranded.
Nurses managers have also joined the strike which has already crippled operations at public health facilities.
A survey conducted at Bulawayo hospitals showed that many patients were not being attended to.
At Mpilo Central Hospital, the Outpatient Department was closed.
In a notice, the hospital authorities said contingency plans were in place for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Maternity, Theaters and Casualty departments.
“This is to inform you that due the ongoing industrial action by nurses, the Outpatient Department will be closed until the end of the strike.
“We will be attending to emergency cases only,” reads the notice in part.
A senior official at United Bulawayo Hospitals, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the hospital was discharging noncritical patients.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) secretary-general Mr Enock Dongo said nurses were now seeking President Mnangagwa’s intervention.
“We have not had any feedback so far since the strike started, We have only received threats and threats don’t treat people.
“We are now appealing to the President to intervene. We have high hopes that if he steps in sanity will prevail,” he said.
Mr Dongo said the strike, although undesirable, will continue until their concerns are addressed.
The nurses are demanding a basic salary review which will see the lowest employee earning a minimum of $750.
They are also demanding an upward review of the risk allowance $40 to $300, uniform allowance from $15 to $150 and night duty allowance from $72 to $ 300.
Part of the nurses’ demands includes improved working conditions.-@irielyan