by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’S ailing health sector has received some reprieve after junior doctors finally returned to work to end a month-long protest over salaries.
The breakthrough follows lengthy negotiations with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC).
George Charamba, the presidential spokesman, said the doctors’ return would ease the suffering of patients in public hospitals.
“President Emmerson Mnangagwa is thankful to the doctors who have heeded the call to return to their workstations in the interest of their patients,” Charamba said.
“He (Mnangagwa) is hopeful that the few who remain on strike will soon appreciate the gravity of their responsibilities so they are in sync with their professional commitments.”
The health professionals had embarked on industrial action last month, citing poor remuneration and working conditions.
Junior doctors earn a basic monthly salary of more than US$300 (over R4 000).
The cash-strapped government is battling to raise money to foot the wage bill of civil servants.
The health sector has not been spared the two decades of political and economic turmoil.
Doctors are occasionally on strike and hospitals battle shortages of drugs and other equipment.
The elite seek medical attention mostly in neighbouring South Africa.
– CAJ News