HARARE – Doctors could be headed for another showdown with government after the Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) claimed on Sunday that their on-call allowances awarded a month ago following a protracted 30-day-long strike had been slashed.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Mxolisi Ngwenya, spokesperson for the ZHDA, expressed outrage that the Health Services Board had backtracked from the Collective Bargaining Agreement of March 30, 2018, where government agreed to give doctors a slight raise in on-call allowances.
“The ZHDA would like to expose the unilateral and criminal slashing of our members’ well-deserved on-call allowances that were awarded to us in April 2018.
“According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement of March 30, 2018, government agreed to give doctors a slight raise in on-call allowances, and this was paid in April,” Ngwenya said.
“However, to our dismay, HSB has unilaterally imposed a slash, thereby violating that agreement.
This is a direct effort meant to sabotage health care and criminally award themselves a new allowance, known as special medical allowance.
“This allowance has been put at par with our on-call allowance and is being awarded to non-clinical staff in the HSB secretariat, who have office day jobs and work eight hours a day. The funds to pay this allowance have been deducted from doctors, nurses and other clinical staff nationwide.
“Moreover, this special medical allowance is being deemed to be medical, yet there are no medical qualifications required for one to be in the HSB secretariat.
“There is complete disregard of the clinical staff who directly handle patients and their surroundings. We call upon the ministry of Health and Child Care, ministry of Finance and other responsible authorities to scrutinise this act and respond accordingly.
“HSB has oppressed our members for too long and this time we say no, we have had enough. May government act swiftly in order to maintain industrial harmony.”
Efforts to get a comment from Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa were fruitless as his phone was not reachable.