Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) has expressed shock at government’s decision to dismiss nurses and midwives who went on strike.
TALC National Director Felix Mwanza in a statement released to QFM News says the decision by government will only exacerbate the already worsened situation especially at UTH where one nurse will now be required to attend to about fifty (50) patients.
Mr Mwanza says if government does not rescind its decision on the fired nurses and unconditionally reinstate them, Zambia should as well forget about achieving millennium development goals number 4,5 and 6.
He adds that the decision will also likely reverse the gains made in reducing maternal and child mortality.
and Open Society Foundation Executive Director Sunday Chanda says the Ministry of Health’s decision to dismiss over 100 nurses is a contradiction of President Michael Sata’s commitment made in Mansa that Government was not going to fire the striking nurses.
Mr Chanda wonders what has changed regarding the President’s assurance on the matter.
He says the approach by the Ministry of Health is a fear-instilling tactic which does not address the root cause of the problems.
He states that the Minister of Health cannot act in the manner he has done when the Head of State made a serious assurance.
Mr Chanda adds that the fear-factor being employed in dealing with this matter may hypnotize a few labour leaders but will not solve the problems being contested.
He has since called for a general amnesty and engagement between Government and the nurses under a trusting environment.
He says Government should be at the forefront creating jobs and not joblessness, adding that dismissing over 100 nurses is not victory for the Government and has requested President Sata to reverse the decision.
Mr Chanda states that the President should pardon the nurses who are adding value to the health sector as he has done with condemned criminals before.
And Mr Chanda says the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) must go back to the days of the late Frederick Chiluba who made Dr. Kenneth Kaunda’s UNIP government sit-up because as a labour movement, they meant well for the workers and were ready to go to jail and sacrifice for the working class.
He notes that the current crop of leaders would rather sacrifice workers for fear of getting in bad books with government.