Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) has urged the government to employ all graduate nurses as a matter of urgency to alleviate the critical shortages of nurses at public hospitals.
Nurses at most public hospitals are reporting twice a week citing incapacitation.
The suggestion was made at a consultative meeting with the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. Obadiah Moyo on December 9.
Speaking to CITE, ZINA chairperson at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Anthony Majongosi revealed that the association had a meeting with the Minister of Health who tabled government`s offer to improve the welfare of nurses.
“The Minister bought several suggestions which in his view could cushion nurses during this difficult economic era. He proposed for institutional arrangements to assist nurses in the form of fuel, food, transport as well as institution accommodation, housing stands, and flexible duties,” said Majongosi.
He, however, said the association turned down the suggestions as they fall short of their demands for a meaningful salary increment.
“The ZINA president while acknowledging the gesture by the minister, made it clear that the minister’s suggestion doesn’t deserve consultations for it is an obvious mandate of the government to provide such without consultations or negotiations.
“The offer doesn’t address the fundamental needs of the day and it doesn’t bring bread and butter on the table for workers’ families,” said the chairperson.
“Without addressing the topical salary issue, all other offers are of little substance, for they can’t exonerate nurses from the waves of the current harsh economic environment.
Majongosi said the two-day working schedule is here to stay until government addresses their grievances.
“The Minister acknowledged the nurses’ two days flexible working schedule, as a better measure than to quit. On that note, The ZINA president informed the Minister that the two-day working schedule is there to stay until the employer meets the nurses’ demand.
“The flexible working schedule is not a substitute for salaries, with that arrangement in place, nurses remain incapacitated,” he said.
“ZINA made a recommendation for all graduate unemployed nurse to be employed as a matter of urgent to reduce shortages in hospitals, as this was already agreed during the meeting that was done in June between ZINA executive and his Excellency the President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a move which the minister applauded and compromised to act on it soon as he can.”