Health Minister Meets Striking Doctors

THE incumbent members of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association met with Health and Childcare Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo to resolve their grievances which have left the public health sector in limbo.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

It appears the Minister met with old association members that have since been replaced where he tabled ways Government would intervene to solve their issues.

Following the meeting, the interim members lashed out in concern stating they never sat down with the Minister.

This forced a fresh meeting on Wednesday to iron out the outstanding problems doctors face.

At the meeting, Dr Moyo expressed his appreciation of the matters at hand citing his past experiences at the helm of Chitungwiza Central Hospital.

“The problem we want to solve is to ensure our patients get the best treatment and that our workers are also working in an environment which is conducive and that everybody works together as a team. We are all here. I might be the Minister of Health, there might be Health Services Board members and the Perm Sec is here, there might be junior doctors but at the end of the day we want to achieve quality healthcare provisions for the benefit of our patients. We realise I am coming as a new minister and I have my approaches to issues. Having been in the field, working at Chitungwiza Hospital for close to 13 years, I know exactly the effects of working in an environment without medications, adequate equipment, adequate surgical sundries, it is a frustrating situation. We want our patients to get the best,” he said.

The Minister is on record of his plan to ensure that the public healthcare sector attains five star ratings.

“We want our patients to get the best. We want our doctors to get the best. Im saying we want to come up with a five star quality healthcare system. We have to make sure we achieve that and we don’t have to create what is frustrating for our workers,”Dr Moyo said.

Dr Moyo was glad to meet the new ZHDA members. “So I realise that amongst the doctors they wanted to ensure that they have a proper management, a new management in place. I’m happy they have managed to finalise and they have come up with their interim position. I’m very happy with that interim position. The outgoing members are already out of the system. We have got new post holders and we want to work with them well and listen to whatever grievances they have and be able to come up with solutions,” he said.

He also allowed the ZHDA to participate in meetings with HSB.

“I have indicated that they can be able to participate in the bipartite meetings. We have given them that authority. I have instructed the board chairperson to accept them. So it is formal. They are the president and secretary general of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association. So Mr President Congratulations. Im sure you will do very well. I want you to lead the team. The Ministry will listen to you. Im coming in with a totally different approach to solving problems,” the health minister said.

ZHDA interim secretary general Dr Mthabisi Anele Bhebhe hoped their grievances would be solved as soon as yesterday.

“My name is Dr Mthabisi Anele Bhebhe. I am the current interim ZHDA secretary general. Today we are entering day five on industrial action. We are still engaging with the ministry to pave a way forward and address these grievances that have been raised by our members. We are actually worried that we are behind time. We were hoping something should have been offered or done. So we are still pushing the agenda that the grievances be addressed as soon as possible so that normalcy in the healthcare delivery system is restored as soon as possible,” he said.

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