HARARE – Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has warned that grave consequences loom if the doctors’ situation is not civilly addressed in respect of human lives that are currently being lost in hospitals.
Following the cholera outbreak, the conglomeration of more than 80 civil society organisations in Zimbabwe said, the country and citizens are currently vulnerable to diseases and medical conditions.
Meanwhile patients who were discharged at some of the State hospitals revealed to the Daily News that the death toll continues to skyrocket since doctors downed their tools on December 1.
With pandemonium at its peak in the medical sector, several sectors are calling on government to take serious and sincere measures to address the doctors’ concerns.
In a press statement, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson Tabani Moyo said the current situation leaves the populace vulnerable as millions rely on State hospitals for treatment.
“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition calls on the government … to immediately resolve the on-going impasse with medical doctors by reviewing the working and living conditions of doctors.
“The resolution of the crisis is one step in the right direction as the country moves to arrest the political and economic crisis in the country.
“The impasse in the social services sector is of great concern and has potentially grave consequences given the centrality of the services offered by medical sectors employees and leaves the country and citizens vulnerable to diseases and medical conditions that can be averted,” Moyo said.
Negotiations between government and the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) have remained fruitless as the disgruntled medical practitioners have not returned to work after government efforts have been rendered valueless.
“As Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition we implore government to negotiate in good faith with its employees and always engage in mutual dialogue in resolving labour cases.
Following the firing of 533 doctors, Moyo said emergent government trends of “fire” or dismiss are worrying.
The coalition accused government of using military tactics to address civil matters.
This comes after government also fired 6 000 nurses earlier this year after an industrial action.
“It is our view that in dealing with civilian matters such commandist tactics can only worsen the already fragile medical services sector and the continued use of threats only proves government’s incapacity to handle the national crises.
“We further urge the government to desist from employing military tactics and coercion to threaten its employees into submission without a review of their working and living conditions,” Moyo added.
Moyo added that the coalition stands in solidarity with other social services sector employees in demanding a review of wages and salaries given the erosion of the value of the bond note.
As the economic situation becomes grave by the day, more uproar looms as workers from all sectors are writhing from the biting challenges that have perpetuated the devaluing of salaries and standards of living.
“We call on the government to immediately put in place and implement a short- term stabilisation and recovery plan to arrest the economic downturn which has seen worsening levels of poverty among citizens and a total collapse of the social services sector.
“We also note with concern spirited efforts and attempts to discredit various employees’ unions as pursuing a political and illegal agenda and warn that the new Zimbabwe that all aspire for has no place for smear campaigns.”
Meanwhile, former MDC official Solomon Madzore said this is an unacceptable situation created by an unrepentant and unaccountable government.
“This nonsense must stop but the question is; who stops it? This government is not capable of solving the problem because it is the problem itself.
“So, I put it that a problem cannot solve itself. Our nurses and doctors have done their best to sustain health to our people under an unsustainable environment.
“The only honourable thing to do would be to resign and pave way for some transitional mechanism put in place by all stakeholders and stockholders.
“However, we all know that this Zanu PF government will never resign or listen to reason. This then becomes a desperate situation, which situation naturally calls for desperate measures to correct it.
“This is totally unacceptable. Government must just do the honourable thing and resign.
“Expecting Zanu PF to solve these current challenges when we all know that Zanu itself is the problem is asking for the impossible,” said Madzore.