By-The government Monday unleashed armed police on striking nurses and junior doctors at Parirenyatwa hospital.
The government deployed armed police after fears that the strike could generate massive demonstrations.
A NewZimbabwe.com news crew observed nurses standing in small groups, conversing in hushed tones soon after they had delivered a petition to Health Services Board (HSB) offices, alongside junior doctors at the institution.
They held placards bemoaning their working conditions and salaries; sang and marched early morning before some left for Harare hospital, where similar action was expected.
Health workers, among many other civil servants, are demanding salaries in the United States (US) dollars and better working conditions. Their Zimbabwe dollar wages have been devalued by rising inflation.
Health APEX panel leader Tapiwanashe Kusotera said health minister Vice President Constantino Chiwenga had never addressed their concerns since taking over. Said Kusotera:
The reality is that health workers are underpaid. The workers are struggling to make ends meet.
The last time nurses and doctors went on strike, Chiwenga fired them.
Some were allegedly forced to ask Chiwenga for forgiveness and the incident was broadcast on the state broadcaster, ZBCtv.
Chiwenga reminded the doctors of their professional mandate adding that they must value the ultimate importance of life in whatever action they decide to take.