The nurses announced the impeding industrial action through their official forum, the Tanzania Nurses Association (TANNA) in Tabora region yesterday.
Addressing a press conference outside a Catholic Church hall here in Tabora during a three-day seminar, TANNA President Paul Magesa said his members had been facing many, yet unspecified, problems for a long time, and that the government
He said it was now time for the government to solve those problems.
He noted that even though the nurses had always worked knowing the government would meet its pledges, nothing had come out of such promises, and argued they now felt discouraged by such empty pledges.
“Our government has always waited until angry workers go on strike … that’s when officials take action,” he said, adding that such habit wasn’t good.
He said the government had always promised: “the same thing” without taking action, adding, “the pace of dealing with the problem is very slow … nothing is being done so far.”
He said the government had at times addressed the existing shortage of nurses by filling vacant positions, but doesn’t address the problems of working staff. They said the government only goes to work when the nurses go on strike, and they asked: “Where does that money comes from?”
Senior Nursing Officer Peter Mtweve noted that he doesn’t understand why the government ‘stammers’ every time their troubles are raised. He said nurses make up more than 60 percent of all staff in the health sector, but that they are not consulted in decision making.
Mtweve noted that nurses face “lots of problems” including lack of uniforms and that many of them are forced to wear “tattered clothes” on duty.
“This is a great shame to the nation … which is endowed with lots of wealth,” he said.