THE prevailing economic crisis has not spared the health sector employees whose living standards continue to deteriorate despite a salary increase of between 25% and 29% for all civil servants which was effected two months ago.
By Michael Gwarisa
Government proposed the increment as part of a $400 million cost of living adjustment for all civil servants following a series of industrial actions from government employees which include nurses and doctors.
Speaking during the launch of the Nurses Now Zimbabwe program in Harare, Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) president, Mr Enoch Dongo pleaded with government to review nurses salaries and living conditions for nurses as the situation had now become unbearable.
“Our salaries need to be reviewed, it doesn’t match with the increases in the prices of basic commodities. It’s now very difficult to survive, even after the salary increment was handed by government, the money has already been eroded by inflation
“We are now worse than what we were before this increment. So we are calling government to urgently review our living and working conditions as this has become unsustainable. Nurses are the one who run the institutions even after the doctors would have left to attend to other businesses, nurses are always there,” said Mr Dongo.
Zimbabwean nurses downed tools last year citing various reasons chief among them being the poor remuneration, living and working conditions they were subjected to. Government however forced nurses into submission by firing not less than 16, 000 nurses who had gone on strike, a move which divided the nursing fraternity.
Mr Dongo however said the dream of Zimbabwe attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was a pipe-dream as long as nurses were treated like less important citizens.
Meanwhile, the cost of living in Zimbabwe has grew by 1,21% to $790,77 in March based on the requirements for a family of six from $781,35 in February.
The food basket increased by $6,83 or 2,29% from $298,08 by end-February 2019 to $304,91 by end-March 2019. The price of detergents increased by $2,59 or 8,85% from $29,27 to $31,86,” CCZ said.
A different survey by CCZ conducted between March 22 and April 2 revealed that Manicaland province recorded the highest number of price increases on basic commodities with 10 out of the 17 listed basic commodities. According to the survey, price increases in the province on sugar, fresh milk, flour, rice, salt, onions, cabbage, meat, and bathing and laundry soap ranged between 10% and 31%.