Doctors in Zimbabwe have taken to the streets to demand an increase in salaries and on-call pay as well as the shortage of medical supplies and equipment in hospitals.
The government of Zimbabwe suspended 550 medical practitioners and declared their strikes over pay and working conditions unlawful creating fears of a coming health crisis.
A common complaint among doctors is that they are not being paid fairly for the amount of work they do and their investments in education in order to become medical practitioners.
“I feel like I am overburdening my parents. The money we earn is not enough to take [care] of them,” said Wallace Hlambelo who is dependent on his parents despite holding a doctor’s degree.
The medical practitioners have taken to the streets to demand an increase in salaries and on-call pay as well as the shortage of medical supplies and equipment in hospitals.
“The demands that have been made by doctors have not been met and now the citizens and our patients are suffering the most,” said Mthabisi Bhebhe, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA).
“It is tough to be a doctor in Zimbabwe. You are forced to work inhumane hours. I’m on call every other day attending to patients, I’m a medical practitioner, not a student. I graduated and I deserve to be treated with respect,” said Roseline Makaza, a young struggling doctor.
The government has made matters worse by firing 550 doctors and radiographers on Christmas eve because of their participation in a strike considered to be ‘unlawful.’
Another action taken by the government involves freezing the doctor’s salaries until they return to work.
The ZHDA has voiced its concern about an impending health crisis if the government fails to address the doctor’s complaints.