Monday, March 05, 2007

Zim doctors end strike

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Doctors have halted a two-month strike over pay that plunged the country's creaking healthcare system into crisis, the health minister said Saturday.

David Parirenyatwa said the government had reached a pay deal with the doctors, who wanted better salaries to keep pace with Zimbabwe's roaring inflation.

Nurses and paramedics had also joined the strike, paralyzing a public health system already stretched by the burden of HIV/AIDS, but they had already returned to work after agreeing to a separate pay deal.

"Everything is back to normal," Parirenyatwa said.

Government doctors stopped work in December, demanding an 8,000% wage increase, with the government offering a 300% hike.

Before the strike, state doctors earned currency worth about $224 at the official exchange rate but about $7 on the black market. ...

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