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Sunday, 21 June 2009

A national disaster ?

"Some wards are completely deserted while in other wards there is a skeleton staff. We are trying to impress upon the workers to return to work as we continue to dialogue with the government...I have been to 15 wards and I have seen 10 (uncollected) dead bodies. This is a crisis and I urge President Banda to visit the UTH and get first hand information about what is going on and to act quickly to save the situation".
Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) General Secretary Roy Mwaba speaking to Reuters on a national strike of nurses that has now entered its 17th day. Operations at University Teaching Hospital (UTH), one of the largest referral hospitals in Southern Africa and several hospitals across our nation have been paralysed. Nurses and paramedics last week rejected a 15% pay rise from Government, holding out for 25% increase. The ZCTU have declared the current situation in hospitals a "national disaster". The Government's response is that the strike is illegal and nurses need to return to work. We have previously discussed the on-going strikes here - Tackling Work Stoppages (Guest Blog).

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