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Demoralized, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Officially End Three-Week Strike

A three-week strike by doctors in Zimbabwe's state hospitals officially ended Wednesday with a letter from their bargaining unit to the Ministry of Health declaring an end to the action.

The doctors said they will continue to engage the government on their labor issues, urging it to give priority to the concerns of health workers for the national good.

The Hospital Doctors Association said the government should reinstate the doctors who were dismissed from their posts late last week. The association set a one-month deadline for the government to come up with a car and housing scheme for doctors similar to the car-loan arrangement that has been set up for members of Parliament.

Association President Brighton Chizhande told reporter Sandra Nyaira of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the so-called junior doctors or hospital residents are appealing to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to intercede on their behalf.

Dr Douglas Gwatidzo, chairman of the Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights, said it is time the government and doctors agreed a strategy to deal with health system problems.

Morale among the residents in state hospitals plunged, meanwhile, after the declaration of an end to their strike by the Hospital Doctors Association, reported Sylvia Manika.

Some of the resident doctors voiced dismay and disappointment at the tough tactics used by the government to force them to return to work.

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