Pamela Shumba and Thandeka Moyo, Health Reporters
GOVERNMENT has said it is urgently addressing concerns raised by nurses and it was regrettably that some of them had decided to engage in an unlawful strike.
The nearly 6 000 nurses who were fired have since been re-engaged and Government is hiring more to improve services at public health institutions.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry of health and Child Care said hospital services had normalised following the re-hiring of the nurses who had gone on strike.
The Ministry said there are 16 974 nurses in the country and 5 974 went on strike which ended on Sunday.
It said it was regrettable that some nurses went on strike when Government was addressing the issues they had raised in terms of allowances among other grievances.
“Government is urgently looking into the outstanding cross cutting issues and challenges and will resolve these as soon as possible,” reads the statement.
“The majority of nurses who were dismissed have re-applied for re-engagement and Government has permitted them to resume duty pending final approval from the employer.
“As we carry out these recruitment processes, the MoHCC has allocated specific quotas per institutions and institutions are directed to recruit to the maximum allocated figure. We have enough trained nurses who are unemployed to fill up these allocated quotas.”
Mpilo, United Bulawayo Hospitals and Ingutsheni Central Hospitals confirmed that they had re-engaged all the nurses that had gone on strike and hired more.
Mpilo hired 110, UBH 93 and Ingutsheni 31 new nurses in a development that the hospitals said would go a long way in improving service delivery at the institutions.
The Health Services Board (HSB) fired nearly 6 000 nurses last week for taking part in the industrial action before resolving to re-engage them and hire more.