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Resident Physicians In Zimbabwe State Hospitals Back On Strike

Resident doctors and some nurses at Zimbabwe's four major state hospitals have gone on strike again, citing low salaries and chronic shortages of drugs.

Dr. Kudzanai Chimedza, incoming president of the Hospital Doctors’ Association, said doctors are earning some Z$680 a month (in redenominated Zimbabwean dollars), not enough to cover transportation or other costs amid inflation over 11 million percent.

Chimedza said residents and interns are obliged to pursue commercial activities - selling beer or engaging in cross-border trading - simply to make ends meet.

Doctors and nurses say that despite promises from the government that it will look into their grievances, there is no sign any of their problems will be resolved soon.

Doctors and other staff at the main state hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo, the country's second-largest city, have gone on strike repeatedly in the past few years.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi told reporter Carole Gombakomba that doctors at Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare, say they are struggling for economic survival.

VOA was unable to obtain comment from Health Minister David Parirenyatwa.

Health Secretary Henry Madzorere of the opposition formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai said recurring strikes indicate Harare has failed to resolve mounting health sector woes.

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