NURSES at the Midlands General Hospital in Gweru on Wednesday declared incapacitation and agreed with authorities that they would now embark on flexi hours, whereby they report for duty twice a week.

Earlier, the nurses had staged a demonstration and marched around the hospital complaining over poor salaries and working conditions.

Robert Chiduku, president of the Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union confirmed the development.

Chiduku is also a nurse at the Midlands General Hospital in Gweru.

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“We held a meeting on Wednesday with the acting medical superintendent, Dr Tendai Chandaengerwa, and we formally informed them that nurses at the hospital would only be reporting to work two days in a week because of incapacitation,” he said.

“We also had representatives from the Zimbabwe Nurses Association in the meeting and we all spoke with one voice.”

The development will come as a major blow because the hospital is the biggest health institution in the province, catering for all emergency cases referred from 28 district hospitals.

“It is not something new in the country that nurses work two days in a week. Since last year, nurses in cities like Harare and Bulawayo have not been working for all days. It is only here where we were still reporting for duty all the days. However, due to incapacitation, we have now been left with no option, but to follow suit,” Chiduku said.

“Our demands are just like those of the other nurses countrywide, where we are saying we want salaries indexed to the interbank rate using those we were getting during the multi-currency era. We also want improved working conditions.”

Hospital spokesperson Clarence Pedzi refused to comment and referred questions to the institution’s medical superintendent, Fabian Mashingaidze.

However, he was said to be out of the country and was not reachable.

Midlands provincial medical director Solomon Nyadundu said: “I am not on the ground to provide finer details. Please get in touch with the hospital’s public relations officer.”