A spokesman for the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) announced an indefinite nationwide strike at public hospitals on Tuesday, March 13. The ZHDA represents over 1000 doctors, who have refused to return to work until the government meets their demands for better pay and working conditions. Junior doctors in Harare started a strike on March 1, impacting services at the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Mpilo Central Hospital, United Bulawayo Hospitals, Harare Central Hospital, and the Chitungwiza Central Hospital. According to media reports, outpatients in Bulawayo and Harare have been turned away due to the lack of staff. ZHDA representatives and the government are scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 15, to attempt to reach an agreement.
On Monday, March 12, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said that the government and the doctors had resolved some of the issues and urged them to return to work. Junior doctors are demanding an increase in car loans from the government that have been delayed since November 2017. ZHDA officials are also asking for the government to implement an increase in allowances for on-call doctors that was agreed upon in 2014.
Individuals present in Zimbabwe, particularly in Harare, are advised to confirm doctor's appointments, to anticipate longer waiting times in medical facilities for the duration of the strike, and to avoid any potential protests.