Paul Nyathi|Bulawayo’s Mpilo hospital may just be shutting down as “incapacitated” nurses at the Central Hospital failed to report for work due high public transport costs.
Bulawayo public transport operators increased fares to as high as $10 per trip into town in some areas following a heavy fuel price increase on Monday.
The move by the nurses comes at a time when other health workers including junior and senior doctors are also involved in a job action where they are not reporting for duty alleging that their current salaries do not meet even monthly transport costs.
While government has deployed very few low cost Zimbabwe Passenger Company (ZUPCO) buses to ferry citizens, this has not solved the high urban transport cost as the bus can not cope with the demand.
“Many nurses failed to turn up for work due to increased transport costs, the few who showed up came turned very late just before knock off time, ” said a source at the hospital.
Doctors across the country have been on strike demanding better working conditions and a review of their salaries. The strike has completely halted operations at the hospitals.
Government last week issued an ultimatum for doctors to return to work by Monday but this was ignored resulting in the issue being taken to court where it will be finalised on Wednesday.