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Zimbabwe Health Experts Predict a Gloomy 2008 As Medical Services Collapse

Zimbabwean health experts are predicting a gloomy 2008 as medical services delivery collapses under the weight of the country's steepening economic downturn.

Chairman Douglas Gwatidzo of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human rights said 2007 was a tough year for Zimbabwe, and the health sector was no exception.

Junior doctors at state hospitals have started to return to work from their latest strike, but Hospital Doctors Association President Amon Siveregi described conditions in public hospitals as deplorable. Siveregi said the doctors are giving the state the benefit of the doubt for the moment while labor negotiations proceed.

Health minister David Parirenyatwa said Harare is committed to solving the crisis.

But many key stakeholders told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government must take urgent action to halt the decline in health care or the problems seen in public medical services in 2007 will deepen.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...