CONFUSION continues to dog the national doctors’ strike in Bulawayo as some of the health professionals reported for duty at Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospital, although an association of doctors maintains the job action is still ongoing.
The junior doctors have been on strike demanding an increase in their salaries from $282 to $1 200, excluding allowances.
An official at Mpilo said despite doctors being on strike, a number of them had reported for work.
“The senior medical officers and junior doctors who had been told not to report for duty are available today, as they are doing rounds at the hospital in all departments,” the official, who requested anonymity, said.
The Mpilo Central Hospital outpatients hall was empty as all the people who needed hospital services had been attended to by nurses and doctors when they were needed.
At the casualty department, people who needed medical attention were all being attended to on time and no one complained of not being given assistance.
“I came here about 30 minutes ago and I was attended to by a doctor. He then left me with a nurse who gave me the medication I needed,” a patient said.
However, at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) the situation was slightly different. Doctors did their rounds and then left the work to nurses.
UBH chief executive officer Nonhlanhla Ndlovu declined to comment when asked why the doctors had reported for duty when the strike was said to be still ongoing.
Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association secretary-general Farai Makoni said the strike was on and wage negotiations were in progress.
“The doctors’ strike is still ongoing and the negotiations are still in progress. We hope that they end soon so that the medical officers return to performing their duties fully,” he said.