MPILO Hospital junior doctors are on strike after being incensed by Government’s position that it will not pay them using foreign currency.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Amongst the doctors’ grievances was the issue of getting their salaries in United States Dollars.
In one of the placards reads, “No to Slavery! Bond Not is not equal to USD. We want Real Money.”
The industrial action is now in day 13 as doctors, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association and the Health Service Board are never reaching a common ground to see the striking doctors back at work.
“None of the grievances has been addressed and negotiations are being deliberately delayed and done in bad faith. The nation may be keen to know, since the industrial action started there have been only two engagements with the Ministry of Health and no direct or documented response to address the grievances have been made,” said ZHDA in a statement yesterday.
ZHDA noted with concern the deterioration of the health sector.
The health sector is experiencing one of its worst stages in the history of the country. Hospitals remain empty with serious acute shortage of drugs, medical and surgical sundries. Working conditions are deplorable and with obsolete hospital equipment. The welfare of service providers is forgotten and forsaken,” said the doctors’ representative body.
Added ZDHA, “ The industrial action initially involved only Central hospitals but has grown to reach Provincial and District hospitals. It has been 12 days with central and district hospitals in the country not operating. This is even worsened by failure on the part of the Ministry of Health to urgently provide workable avenues to address the ongoing industrial action.”
ZDHA said the situation should be handled as soon as yesterday.
“Certainly a crisis of this magnitude should be treated delicately with respect and urgency it deserves. The grievances raised by doctors have been presented to the Ministry a countless times. “What is being and has been waited for is action on the part of the Ministry to solve this impasse. To this end, doctors will remain on industrial action until such a time practical and convincing solutions are provided to mitigate avoidable morbidity and mortality among patients,” said ZDHA.