Striking Zimbabwe doctors say patients ‘dying anyway’

JOHANNESBURG – Doctors striking at Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) in Zimbabwe, over salaries and the alleged abduction of acting Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) leader Dr Peter Magombeyi, have warned that they will continue their strike.

The work stoppage will continue until the abducted doctor is released and paid an adequate salary, said the doctors, adding that people were “dying anyway”.

Magombeyi was reportedly abducted from his Budiriro home on Saturday night by some unknown men suspected to be state security agents.

Mtahbisi Anele, ZHDA secretary-general Mthabisi Anele Bhebhe, addressing protesters said that if there were no salary increases the strike would continue as the government had made it impossible for doctors to continue reporting to work as their work was not appreciated.

Responding to assertions by some citizens that the doctors’ actions were selfish and put people’s lives at risk, Anele said this was not the case as people were dying anyway whether the doctors showed up for work or not.

He also claimed there were as many as 23 citizens who were being held and charged for allegedly trying to subvert the Zimbabwe government. Anele asked if the public was aware of the arrests. He said it was not only doctors under attack, but also ordinary citizens.

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