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Zimbabwe Junior Doctors Back On Strike Over Pay, Hospital Conditions

At least 150 junior doctors or residents, have gone on strike in Harare and Bulawayo over the low wages they are paid.The junior doctors are also citing lack of benefits which include accomodation and vehicles and what they call inadequate medical supplies for patient care.

Salaries of junior residents at the four main government hospitals in the capital and in the second-largest city average Z$56,000 a month - about one fifth of the Z$270,000 monthly income beneath which a family of six is considered to live in poverty.

The junior doctors said negotiations with the Health Ministry have failed to yield agreement. Health Minister David Parirenyatwa could not be reached immediately for comment.

Zimbabwe's junior doctors went on strike in July and again in November of this year, though those earlier actions focused as much on working conditions as pay.However the junior doctors currently on strike, say they were not included in the settlement reached between the ministry of health and the other group of junior doctors.

Intern Simbarashe Ndondha told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he and other junior doctors are concerned with the welfare of their patients, but are failing to make ends meet in the present harsh economy.

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