Harare ‑ Senior doctors in Zimbabwe have joined the strike started last month by their junior colleagues who are demanding to be paid in US dollars as that country's surrogate currency - bond notes - rapidly lose value and face growing market rejection.
Junior doctors downed tools a month ago on 1 December and on Wednesday their seniors announced they were joining the strike worsening the already dire health situation exacerbated by the critical shortage of imported medicines.
Poor working conditions, low salaries in bond notes and shortages of basic medicines and equipment are the reasons behind the work stoppage that has left patients in state hospitals unattended.
Zimbabwe's economy is in meltdown, shortages of foreign currency have seen basic commodities disappear from shop shelves and queues for fuel have become the order of the day. Banks are unable to meet withdrawals and cash is perennially in short supply.
In Wednesday's memorandum to the country’s major referral hospitals and copied to all heads of departments and the health and child care ministry, senior doctors said they were now overwhelmed by the workload.