Mukudzei Chingwere and George Maponga
Most hospitals across the country are back to normal after nurses heeded the call by Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) to end their industrial action.
Zina did raise the issue of transport costs, but some nurses live in Government flats near hospitals and transport is available.
Patients are receiving medical attention on time and closed clinical services are re-opening.
Acting chief executive for Mpilo Central Hospital, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya, said nurses are back at work and today they will be rolling-out all clinical activities.
“We are very happy here, almost all our nurses are back at work. Only a few, less than 10 percent, had problems with transport. But we can safely say all our nurses are back. Last night (Wednesday) everyone who was supposed to be on duty was there which is very good and it is going to improve our service delivery.
“Tomorrow (today) onwards we are now expanding our services. We had suspended some because of manpower. We had stopped doing outpatients. We had also merged some wards. So we are now going to open up, we had done this as a survival strategy,” said Prof Ngwenya.
The situation at Masvingo Provincial Hospital had also normalised. Acting medical superintendent Dr Noel Zulu said the situation at Masvingo Provincial Hospital was normalising.
“As far as we are concerned our nursing staff are working as per stipulated regulations by Government. We are operating normally and our nurses are now reporting for duty as normal.
“We only have a challenge with Covid-19 which is still limiting our ability to operate at full throttle so we may not be able to offer some services, but besides that everything is normal,” said Dr Zulu.
In separate interviews for hospitals in Harare area it was all systems go said the public relations personnel, Mr Linos Dhire of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Mrs Audrey Tasaranarwo of Chitungwiza Central Hospital and Mrs Juliet Chikurunhe of Sally Mugabe Central Hospital.
“Almost all our nurses are back and they are reporting for duty as usual,” said Mr Dhire.
“Operations are back to normal as all our nurses are now reporting for duty,” said Mrs Tasaranarwo of Chitungwiza Central Hospital.
“They are now coming and reporting for duty, the situation is normalising,” said Mrs Chikurunhe.
Medical Superintendent at Gweru Provincial Hospital Dr Fabian Mashingaidze yesterday said the hospital was operating normally and had most clinical services had resumed.
“Most of our nurses were not on that strike, maybe less than 10 percent at some point did not report for work. But now the situation has returned to normal service. We are now doing everything that we are supposed to do, some of the clinical work was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic where we had to give special emphasis in fighting the pandemic. But now we are operating normally and patients are being seen by doctors and nurses,” said Dr Mashingaidze.
Despite a strike called by the nurses association in Manicaland, most of them ignored the call and have also been reporting for duty as usual.
ZINA secretary-general Mr Enock Dongo this week said they had communicated with their members to start reporting for duty if they could raise money for transport.
“We welcome what the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care said that he is willing to improve the conditions of service and remuneration for health workers so we are giving them a chance to do that while we are going to work,” said Mr Dongo.
Meanwhile, Dr Tsitsi Magure has been appointed acting clinical director for Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, replacing Dr Aspect Maunganidze who is now the group’s acting chief executive.
Her appointment was confirmed on the official social media handles of the hospital.
Dr Magure is a consultant specialist gynaecologist and obstetrician.