State-employed nurses in Zimbabwe have begun an indefinite strike over wages.

Their main demand is that the government pay out 2016 bonuses.

Last week army doctors were brought in to manage a potential health crisis as a result of an ongoing doctors’ strike.

Zimbabwe’s medical professionals are some of the worst paid in the region and their salaries are often paid late.

Hospitals are scaling back emergency services as a wave of discontent spreads among doctors and nurses.

In the capital, reports say many nurses didn’t show up for work at Harare and Chitungwiza central hospitals. A government representative couldn’t confirm this but said two major hospitals outside Harare had been badly affected.

Since last week, hospitals have been turning away the sick and patients have been discharged early following a doctors’ strike over allowances and job security. There is a concern that the army personnel, brought in as a stop-gap, will not be able to cope without nurses.