Senior Zimbabwe Doctors Down Tools As Mnangagwa Abandons Leave to Resolve Crippling Strike

“We share the same grievances as out juniors that of the need for a cost of living adjustment … We have resolved therefore as a group to protect our patients and ourselves to withdraw our services until an agreement is reached.”

Source: Senior Zimbabwe Doctors Down Tools As Mnangagwa Abandons Leave to Resolve Crippling Strike – VOA

Dr. Sacrifice Chirisa, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Medical Association and Dr. Mthabisi Bhebhe, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association
Dr. Sacrifice Chirisa, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Medical Association and Dr. Mthabisi Bhebhe, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association

Registrars working in state hospitals have downed tools in solidarity with junior and middle level doctors who went on strike a month ago demanding to be paid in United States dollars, a government review of a government-sponsored vehicle loan scheme and other issues.

This comes at a time when Vice President Constantino Chiwenga says the government won’t pay the striking medical practitioners in dollars while President Emmerson Mnangagwa has abandoned his leave and returned to work in an effort to resolve the doctors’ industrial action.

In a statement, the registrars said, “Following the continued action by the junior doctors and their subsequent suspension, we the senior registrars have become overwhelmed by the workload and are no longer confident (that) we can discharge our duties properly without compromising both out and the patients’ safety. Out work involves working as a team and so if the other crucial part is missing then we are all rendered useless.

“We share the same grievances as out juniors that of the need for a cost of living adjustment, need for uninterrupted availability of essential drugs and sundries and the need to address the vehicle status of all doctors. We have resolved therefore as a group to protect our patients and ourselves to withdraw our services until an agreement is reached.”

There was no comment from Dr. Sacrifice Chirisa, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Medical Association, and government.

The registrars and consultants, who are affiliated to the Zimbabwe Medical Association, gave the government 48 hours last Friday to address the striking doctors’ concerns or face a crippling industrial action.

At the same time, in a statement, Retired General Chiwenga said the government would not pay doctors’ salaries in United States dollars.

“”The government does not print United States dollars. The hard earned foreign currency will be committed to, among other areas, importing essential medicines for use in hospitals and clinics, as well as to facilitate the recovery of the economy, in line with the Transitional Stabilization Programme.”

He also warned striking doctors to stop public demonstrations at state hospitals.

“… Government will not allow any demonstrations, at medical facilities whose purpose is to treat patients and ensure their full recovery. For the avoidance of doubt, government will not remunerate any work of its workforce in United States dollars, a position it made very clear to the striking doctors.”

He further noted, without elaborating, that the government is exploring ways of stabilizing the health sector.

Doctors have over the years been making several demands, including salary increases and improved working conditions.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    Dr. Milton Chemhuru 3 years ago

    The way to solve problems like we are facing (Doctors on industrial action)is through dialog. The most courageous and successful leaders like Mahatt Maghadhi and Nelson Mandela were people of dialog. We fought the war of liberation because politicians like Ian Smith were not good at dialog and had no vision. Emotions will not solve this problem. The idea of the people and what people believe can not be removed by punishing them but by finding a common understanding. In this case we are dealing with highly professional and experienced people, people on the ground. Most of these are managers in their capacity. Therefore we have to allow them(doctors) give us evidenced issues to our health delivery system so that we take an everlasting solution. May I also remind ourselves as a nation that never we say “never”. let us not swear. Personally as the person in the same profession and have other experiences like fighting the bush war, I just have an experience that during the war we had some of the commanders who wanted to solve the problem of the front or prescribe the type of tactics or weapons to be used in the front yet these commanders had no idea of what the front was all about. So in our situation let us be careful that we might have such managers who are part of the negotiating teams and are not aware of what is happening at the clinic, at the district hospitals, at the provincial hospitals, at the PMD offices or even at the central hospitals. Such managers are dangerous in their decision making. The health System is a system from the village Health worker, clinic, district, province etc. When solving this problem one has to look at the system as a whole.I believe if we respect each other as employers and employees and we give each other our right place and professional respect we will solve this problem. Negotiation is all about give and take. let us avoid to go for negotiation when we are desperate or weak. This statement applies to both parties. And let us negotiate with faith and trust. By the way this is not a political negotiation but professional where we need facts on the table……..We have health indicators and health statistics. We have the minimum standards etc. Those are the bases for negotiation. Here there is no enemy among us so I believe the negotiations between the employers and the doctors will succeed. At no circumstances shall we as professions allow or compromise the standards of our professions. We strengthen the training and management of our health professionals to keep with both regional and international standards. God Bless us all and save our desperate patients.

    • comment-avatar
      Flick 3 years ago

      So what happened to the Hippocratic Oath, which you are supposed to hold so dear. This has nothing to do with Ian Smith or the so called war you waffle on about. It has everything to do with Zimbabwe not having it’s own strong currency (as was the Rhodesian Dollar as I recall). The country has gold and diamonds amongst other valuable commodities and it is these that should be backing the Zimbabwe Dollar. But, alas, they are being syphoned off by a relatively few corrupt individuals. Solve this problem and Zimbabwe will be well on it’s way.

  • comment-avatar
    Morty Smith 3 years ago

    The problem seems intractable. The government has been restricting the local supply of doctors for a long time. The medical association has supported this. This keeps medical cost high and doctors earnings high. Remember all of these junior doctors have been educated at tax payers expense and once they have done an internship with the government hospitals will be let loose on the private sector where they will charge $40 or more for 15 minutes of their time

    I would suggest that nurses be allowed to open general practices with prescribing powers. A properly trained nurse will easily handle 80% of what a doctor can and at a fraction of the price.

    I say let doctors feel the competition the way the rest of us do. They are not special people who need special protections. Let them pay for their own educations at the real cost.