Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doctor strike and Swine Flu fears

SWRadioAfrica via AllAfrica:

A strike by doctors frustrated with their wages has now spread to most government hospitals leaving the country vulnerable to the raging world wide swine flu pandemic. Experts expressed concerns that with few doctors available, the country would fail to deal with any potential disease outbreaks as happened with the cholera epidemic that wreaked havoc last year....

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa reports that doctors are disillusioned by what they see as a failure by government to prioritise their welfare. The total monthly wage for doctors is currently US$390 because Crown Agents, a British relief agency is forking out an extra US$220 per doctor per month in additional allowances. The doctors say however, the extra payments are not being made in some months and cannot be relied upon. Muchemwa says money injected into the health system has seen the purchases of furniture and vehicles for hospital directors instead of wages.

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