The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) throws its weight behind and in solidarity with the more than 14000 Zimbabwean nurses who were fired by government on Tuesday for protesting following many unfulfilled promises by government to pay them outstanding allowances and demanding review of their salaries.
This decision poses a serious danger to the stability of healthcare service in our neighbouring country, when it has not more than 18000 in total in the country.
We encourage government to resolve challenges by sitting around negotiation tables with the nurses' union in Zimbabwe rather than opting to dismiss almost all nurses of the country.
DENOSA is particularly concerned with the potential long-term deprivation of Zimbabweans access to quality healthcare, as nurses are the conduit to such which is a human right globally. This is because an outbreak of cholera has just broken out in some parts of the country, where four people have already succumbed to it.
That the Zimbabwean government think it can just replace the experienced nurses with newly-qualified inexperienced and retired nurses may inflict more suffering to the Zimbabweans' quality healthcare needs, something that has been caused by government's endless delays in paying nurses outstanding allowances, in a trying economic condition like Zimbabwean, given the recent socio-economic troubles the country has had to face.
“Zimbabwean nurses earn on average 284 US Dollars per month, which is equivalent to roughly R3 400 in South African Rands. Some nurses are owed around 1000 US Dollars by Zimbabwean government,” says DENOSA Acting General Secretary, Cassim Lekhoathi.
“It's quite egoistic of Deputy President of Zimbabwe to just dismiss so many workers for merely exercising their right as workers, when the very same government has not paid nurses for far longer periods while nurses have been patient while feeling the thorn of harsh economic conditions. It's arrogance and bossy attitude that may demoralize many health workers.”