February 4, 2020

‘Hospitals can function without doctors’

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Mirirai Nsingo

ZIMBABWE Nurses Association president Enoch Dongo has told Parliament that the country’s hospitals can function without doctors.

Appearing before the Health and Child Care Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Monday, Dongo told the legislators that the country cannot continue to be held at ‘ransom’ by doctors.

“We don’t need doctors for hospitals to function. The nurses worked tirelessly to save lives while the doctors were on strike.

“We don’t even need these doctors at the helm of power, nurses can be good administrators and should qualify even for positions like medical directors and permanent secretaries.”

Dongo further argued that doctors were working for only 2 hours a day yet they were getting more money than the nurses who spend more hours at the hospital.

“They are not here 24/7 yet they had negotiations that resulted in them striking a deal with Strive Masiiwa and now they are getting RTGS $10 000.”

Zimbabwean doctors embarked on an industrial action in September 2019 as a result of an impasse over salaries, lack of hospital equipment and poor working conditions.

The doctors resumed work late January 2020 although the situation at the country’s major hospitals is yet to fully normalise.

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