Wednesday 28 October 2020


NURSES have defiantly said they will continue working flexible hours as the situation in hospitals has deteriorated more than before.

This comes after the government has threatened to fire nurses who go on strike and also said they were going to be removed from being permanent employees.

However, in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo said they were not deterred and they were ready for any consequences.

“Nurses are suffering, the situation in hospitals is worse than before, there are no drugs and no personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We want to tell the authorities that we are not in a military barrack, we say no to command health. The authorities cannot just issue a command on whatever they want without talking to us,” Dongo said.

“We are not afraid. What we want the government to do is to improve our welfare and address some of the critical issues.

“We are going to continue with our flexible hours although some hospitals are demanding their workers to follow the government directive.

“The authorities seem to be ignorant of the country’s legal framework. We rejected what was proposed last week. The confidence is running out on the new ministry management.”

This comes after the permanent secretary in the Health ministry Jasper Chimedza recently wrote to all hospital chief executive officers and provincial medical directors saying flexi-hours were creating more problems in hospitals.

“All categories of nurses are supposed to work for 40 hours per week. However, they have been on flexi-hours since November 2019.

“The flexi-hours are causing the following challenges, no proper handover and takeover, no continuity of nursing care, compromised quality of patient care, exaggerated shortage of nurses resulting in inadequate ward coverage.

“Therefore, all heads of institutions are kindly advised to stop the flexi working hours forthwith. All nurses should resume normal 40 working hours per week with immediate effect,” Chimedza wrote.

This also comes after Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, also Zimbabwe’s Health minister, on Monday unveiled an ambitious plan to establish ground and air ambulance services as part of the government’s efforts to resuscitate the country’s ailing health system.

“My ministry’s vision for ambulance services is to ensure that when a life-threatening situation arises, patients can reach a health facility within two hours.

“This will require a ground fleet of at least 200 fully-equipped ambulances and this will also require air ambulances in case the distance does not allow for a road or surface ambulance.

“As we strive to achieve a prosperous and empowered upper middle-class society by 2030, we take heed of the World Health Organisation’s adage that health workers are productive and they raise healthy families,” Chiwenga said. Daily News


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