Written by Kitsepile Nyathi Doctors at Zimbabwe's major hospitals have gone on strike in a reminder that the situation is still far from returning to normal despite the formation of a unity government six months ago. The state hospitals were turning away patients in the capital Harare and the second largest city of Bulawayo as the doctors demanded an immediate review of their salaries and allowances. Hospitals re-opened in February after President Robert Mugabe formed a unity government with his archrivals to end a decade old political and economic crisis, which resulted in a near total collapse of the health sector. Until June, doctors like the rest of civil servants were earning allowances of US$100 a month. The government introduced salaries last month and senior doctors are now earning US$170 a month and allowances of US$220 provided by donors. But the doctors say hospitals have been generating enough revenue since Zimbabwe inflation ravaged dollar was replaced by multiple currencies and government must be in a position to improve their working conditions. "There has been a massive and overwhelming influx of patients at our central hospitals paying consultation fees, money for investigations and surgical procedures," said Hospital Doctors Association president, Dr Brighton Chizhanje. "The association wrote to government with a proposal that government review the salaries as our economy improves but there was no response." Doctors are also complaining that they are not getting housing allowances while the salaries they receive are too little and not enough to purchase cars on installments. Dr Chizhanje said although donors had pledged to pay health workers retention allowances, the payments were too erratic. "We are also urging donors who have pledged to support health workers to do so in a predictable manner while the hospital provides on call allowances, transport allowances and free medical attention to health workers," he said.