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Upaid Zimbabwe Doctors Downing Tools in Large Numbers

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors' Association (ZHDA) says the government should prioritize the health sector as an essential service just the same way as the country’s armed forces.

ZHDA president Dr. Fortune Nyamande says some doctors have been failing to go to work since Friday last week following the government’s failure to pay they June salaries.

"We hope that the government will prioritize the health sector and pay it on time like they do the armed forces as it is an essential service as enshrined in the new constitution. If this is not done it’s the patients that suffer as doctors fail to go to work due to financial challenges and patients continue to suffer with some dying," said Dr. Nyamande.

Dr. Nyamande said more doctors are expected to stop going to work starting Tuesday as the $100 allowance provided by government had already been eroded by loans and bank charges.

The government delayed doctors and nurses salaries, only paying them $100 each and pledging to pay them by July 14th but Nyamande warned that the situation was becoming volatile and would continue to deteriorate and may not hold until that date.

"Most of the $100 allowance given to doctors has already been depleted by bank charges and loans and most doctors are now faced with financial challenges that are affecting their ability to go back to work. If the government does not do something by July 14th the situation may deteriorate further,” said Doctor Nyamande.

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