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Zimbabwe Hospital Nurses Join Junior Residents In Labor Action

Nurses in at least seven government hospitals around Zimbabwe have gone on strike demanding higher wages, sources in the medical community said. Dentists working in government clinics were also said to be withholding their services.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association President Doreen Choruma said the nurses were not officially on strike, but simply did not have enough money for transport to work. But hospital sources said nurses had walked off the job in hospitals in Harare, and in provincial Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Bindura, Chinhoyi and Masvingo.

Junior nurses in the government hospital system earn Z$25,000 a month - US$100 at the official exchange rate but less than US$8 at the parallel market rate.

Representatives of the nurses were to meet Health Ministry officials Monday.

A nurse at Harare hospital, who gave his name only as Mutema, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the nurses have launched the work action because authorities don’t understand the hardships they face.

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