Medical services at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and Amana in Ilala District in Dar es Salaam have been adversely affected as many doctors went on a go-slow.
Doctors at MNH and Amana went on the rounds and attended to in-patients, but new arrivals were being turned away except those who were in critical condition. Ms Martha Said who had an appointment for her son, Ibrahim Yohana to see a doctor at the MNH was told to go back home and report at the end of the strike.
Ms Said whose son has a condition of abnormal large head said she has to go back to Morogoro to wait for the doctors' strike to end."I do not know what to do, I had an appointment but they have announced that we should all go back home, until we are informed that the strike has ended," she explained.
Efforts to get more details from the hospital's Information Office proved futile as their offices remained locked and guards turned away journalists who were asking on the officers' whereabouts.The Medical Officer in-charge at the Temeke Hospital, Dr Amaani Malima, said doctors and nurses were attending to patients as usual since Saturday.
"Medical services are being offered as usual, doctors and nurses are working. No one is on strike here," he explained.The Principal Health Secretary at Mwananyamala hospital in Kinondoni District, Dr Edwin Bisakala, said services were being provided as usual.
He said the hospital was catering for more than 325 out-patients a day and he has not received any complaints of doctors or nurses refusing to attend to patients."We are receiving in and out patients as usual, we do not have any striking doctors here," he explained.
One of the medical officers at the Ilala District Hospital, who refused to be named, said some clinics had been closed because of the go-slow.He said clinics for women with different conditions were closed.
The Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT) Secretary General, Dr Rodrick Kabangila, declined to comment on the strike, saying the association was not co-ordinating it.He said MAT was only asked to take part during negotiations with the government's representatives,in the previous strike early this year.
He directed this reporter to contact the Chairman of the Medical Association of Tanzania steering committee Dr Stephen Ulimboka, who insisted that the strike was still on.Dr Ulimboka stressed that the strike was going on and in the next few days things would become worse.
The Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, on Sunday warned doctors against the strike, saying they would be going against High Court's order. On Thursday the High Court declared the strike illegal.