Zimbabwe deploys army to hospitals to fill in for striking doctors

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The Zimbabwean government has deployed medics from the army into public hospitals to fill in for the country’s striking doctors.

This comes after a week-long strike by the doctors who are demanding an increase in call allowances and a duty free car facility.

Gerald Gwinji, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, said the doctors’ strike had put pressure on public hospitals, which were already struggling with shortages of drugs and under-funding from the government.

“When some people are not coming to work there is bound to be an impact on service delivery and because these cadres (doctors) on strike are at the first level of care, the impact is even greater,” Gwinji said.

“In some instances we have deployed cadres from the uniformed forces to help in reducing the pressure.”

Kenyan doctors are also on a more than two month strike over a salary increase dipute.

The government this month gave the doctor’s union officials an ultimatum to get their members to resume work, even jailing them before they were later released.

Negotiations between the government and the union are ongoing.

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