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Zimbabwe Emergency Rooms Close As Resident Doctors Strike Over Wages

Casualty departments at the four main Zimbabwean government hospitals in Harare and the second city of Bulawayo have closed due to a strike by 350 junior residents, while sources said the government has not yet responded to the walkout.

Outpatient departments at Bulawayo's Mpilo and United Bulawayo hospitals were reported to have closed last week after junior doctors refused to work citing inadequate accommodation facilities and poor salaries.

Some nurses in the public health system were also reported to be staying away from work citing a lack of money for transport. The nurses submitted a strike notice to the government on December 5, but it was unclear if a full strike was in progress.

Hospital Doctors Association President Amon Siveregi told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that doctors who submitted a notice of intention to strike on Dec. 1 have set up a team to handle emergencies.

But the rest of the residents from Harare Hospital and Parirenyatwa Hospital in the capital and Mpilo Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals in Bulawayo have walked out protesting a cut in monthly pay from Z$55 million to Z$27 million, sources said.

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