Govt gets tough with striking nurses

Government has given striking nurses up to 17:00hrs today to report for work or be charged for absenteeism.

Health Minister Dr.Joseph Kasonde has told journalists during a media briefing in Lusaka that government considers all nurses on strike as being absent from duty and that the process of charging them for absenteeism will be commenced.

Dr. Kasonde adds that he together with Labour counterpart Fackson Shamenda this morning met the striking nurses at University Teaching Hospital and appealed to them to report for work because their action is illegal.

He states that all nurses on strike will be required to give reasons for their absenteeism on an individual basis and exculpate themselves as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against them should they fail to meet the deadline of 17:00 hours.

The Health Minister explains that in the absence of justifiable reasons for this, the normal disciplinary process will be followed.

Dr. Kasonde has since applauded and appreciated the great work and dedication from health professionals not on strike who continue to render care to patients.

The strike action by the nurses at UTH has entered day seven, and has since spread to Levy Mwanawasa, Livingston and Kasama General Hospitals.