The Herald (Harare)
Harare, November 12, 2003
Parliament yesterday said it would facilitate dialogue between the Government and striking health personnel.
The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Health Mr Blessing Chebundo said this when the committee met nurses, striking junior, middle level and casualty doctors at Parliament yesterday.
"The Parliamentary Committee on Health will facilitate
dialogue between striking, non-striking health personnel and the Public Service
Commission to avoid further loss of lives at hospitals.
"We are also meeting the Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa here at Parliament tomorrow (today) so that the committee gets the ministry's view on the grievances of health personnel," he said.
Mr Chebundo assured doctors and nurses that they would get feedback from the committee after making necessary consultations with relevant stakeholders.
At yesterday's meeting, doctors were represented by the Hospital Doctors
Association while the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) represented nurses.
Zina vice provincial chairperson for Harare Mrs Loice Mukudu said the PSC was still to respond to their proposals for a salary review.
Nurses earn between $138 446 and $222 967 per month and briefly went on strike last month but returned to work after three days following assurance from Government that their grievances were being looked into.
"When we met the minister, we agreed that the entry point for a junior nurse would be $1,6 million and he assured us that a response would be available on November 7 so we saw no reason to continue with the strike.
"So far we have not received a response from PSC on the decision it has made on our salaries, which has become a cause for worry," said Mrs Mukudu.
She said nurses also wanted their transport, uniform and
standby allowances reviewed.
"Considering the country's hyperinflation, we urgently require a review of our allowances including the revival of the night duty and risk allowance as we sometimes operate without protective clothing," said Mrs Mukudu.
Zina said it was ready to negotiate with Government on improving salaries to retain nurses in the country.
HDA president Dr Phibion Manyanga also complained of delays by the PSC in addressing their grievances.
"Doctors are concerned by the lack of feedback from PSC as this will not only prolong the time that we are away from work but would also result in more losses of lives," said Dr Manyanga.
Junior and middle level doctors who earn between $4 545 564 and $5 740 884 per year went on strike last month pressing for a monthly salary of $30 million.
Casualty doctors who earn between $263 305 and $807 735 per month also went on strike demanding a review of their salaries.
The doctors said they also wanted risk and retention allowances as they face the danger of contracting diseases while on duty.
The PSC has said it is reviewing the salaries and allowances of the entire civil service.