Zimbabwe forced to give bus fares after health workers threaten to down tools over unpaid salaries

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Government has ordered all health institutions to provide transport or bus fare to health workers in critical areas between January 1 and 5, 2016, to ensure that all departments remain functional, the Ministry of Health and Child Care secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji has said.Zimbabwe-Protest-March1-Her-Zimbabwe-cover-pic

He made the order on Tuesday to all chief executives and provincial medical directors, following threats earlier by nurses and doctors to stop reporting for duty on December 31 if they did not receive their salaries before the end of this year.

“Following the threat of work stoppage by some health workers over late payment of December 2015 salaries and the attendant transport challenges, you are hereby requested to make contingent plans to ensure that all hospital critical areas are adequately staffed and remain functional during the period 1 to 5 January 2016.

“All institutions are required to provide support to health workers in critical areas by providing transport or bus fare.

“As usual, my office will require a daily update on coverage from all stations during this period,” said Dr Gwinji.

Earlier, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Parirenyatwa pleaded with the nurses and doctors to put patients first and be patient while his ministry engaged the appropriate Ministry for payment of December salaries.

The Ministry of Finance last week announced that civil servants outside the education sector would be paid their December salaries on January 5, 2016.

These revelations did not go down well with the civil servants who claimed that they did not have money to travel to work as they await payment of their December salaries.

Those in the education sector were paid on Tuesday.Statemedia

 

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