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Zimbabwe threatens well being care staff that plan on hanging with jail time

Zimbabwe has introduced in a regulation that bans well being staff corresponding to nurses and medical doctors from extended strikes, imposing punishments of as much as six months in jail for defiant staff or union leaders, state-run media and a authorities spokesman mentioned Wednesday.

The provision, signed into regulation by President Emmerson Mnangagwa final week however made public now, stipulates that well being staff can solely strike for as much as three days as a result of they’re thought of a necessary service.

Health professionals ought to proceed offering emergency providers throughout a strike, tweeted authorities spokesman, Nick Mangwana.

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Other international locations together with neighboring South Africa and Zambia restrict strikes by well being staff however impose much less extreme punishments, corresponding to dismissals, work suspensions or docking salaries.

Health workers take part in a demonstration over low salaries at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare on June 21, 2022. Zimbabwe has decreed a law that bans health workers such as nurses and doctors from prolonged strikes.

Health staff participate in an indication over low salaries at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare on June 21, 2022. Zimbabwe has decreed a regulation that bans well being staff corresponding to nurses and medical doctors from extended strikes.
(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

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Frequent and weeks-long strikes by well being staff have for years strained Zimbabwe’s public well being services, that are already in a poor situation because of dilapidated infrastructure and medication shortages.

Public well being staff argue that their salaries — round $100 a month for a lot of — and lack of fundamental tools make their jobs untenable.

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The southern African nation, which as soon as boasted a few of the greatest public well being care services and personnel in Africa, is now combating mind drain as nurses and medical doctors search higher alternatives elsewhere, primarily within the United Kingdom.

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