ZIMA Calls For Dialogue… As Senior Doctors Give Gvt 48hr Ultimatum

MEDICAL consultants who had been filling up gaps left by striking doctors at public health institutions have given government 48 hours to end the the deadlock between government and striking doctors amidst indications that the situation at public hospitals has become untenable.

By Michael Gwarisa

Briefing Journalist, Zimbabwe Medial Association (ZIMA) Secretary General (SG), Dr Sacrifice Chirisa said they have received a communication from consultants highlighting that the situation was no longer workable. He urged government and the health services board (HSB) to open the door to dialogue  and pave way for a workable lasting solution to the prevailing impasse which has brought the health sector to its knees.

“ZIMA is grieved with the process since December 1, to date . Whats grieving us the most is that it is the general public which is suffering the most.  As ZIMA we feel and are fully persuaded that the issues that our counterparts have brought to the fore are genuine and they had the courage to say it.

“As senior doctors we had seen them and we had been doing what we could to cover up but they had the boldness to come out and say things are not working. It is true that things are not working for us to give the quality medical care that we should. Having said that, how things have rolled our have made things worse, this afternoon we have received a statement from the consultants and these are the last gate gatekeepers there in the medical field in terms of hierarchy,” said Dr Chirisa.

Consultant are the most senior doctors who  would have specialised in various medical fields such as neurology, orthopedics, psychiatry, gynecology among others.

He added that dialogue is the best option and mercy must go above the law under the prevailing scenario.

“We believe that at this juncture, it is us who is determining the course of the history of this nation. We are confident that if we can discuss the issue with clear minds and sober minds without putting emotions, we can find a solution to this impasse.”

“Dialogue is the only way we can solve this issue in a civalised manner. The junior doctors are ready to go back to the negotiating table.”

In a letter written by the consultants in Public Health Institutions, they highlighted that they were overwhelmed by work and government should resolve the strike issue as soon as possible.

“As senior medical practitioners working m Public Health Institutions{Consultants and senior registrars) we have noted with concern the way the protracted and on-going collective JOb action by the junior rand middle level doctors has been handled and the impact this has had on patients, community and the profession.

“As seniors we feel that the following areas are of grave concern:

  • Health service units work as teams therefore the absence of the juniors and middle level doctors and any other members of the team critically compromises all aspects of heath service delivery to patients , their communities and the public at large;
  • This period has come on the background of a health system that was already struggling to deliver meaningful basic services;
  • This impasse has further crippled the provision of health service to the public.
  • There were negotiations on conditions of service and remuneration that appear to have stalled;
  • The actions by the Health Services Board (suspensions and pending dismiss all  junior doctors) following the Court ruling is extremely unfortunate and closes the door to dialogue.We believe dialogue is the key to resolving this impasse and all professional Issues.We strongly urge the HSB to reconsider their st

“As Consultants we find the situation at the public health institutions no longer tenable. We stand with the junior doctors in seeking a speedy resolution of these matters. Therefore we are urging Hm. to resolve this impasse within the next 48hrs. Consultants have been working very hard under these very difficult circumstances and will not be able to continue beyond the stated time period. We believe the door to dialogue must never be closed and we hope the 1-fB,considers this statement in the good spirit it has been delivered.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) secretary general, Dr Mthabisi Bhebe said the move by general Chiwenga and government to suspend striking doctors has worsened the situation at public hospitals.

“As ZHDA our position remains the same, and we appeal to those in offices of power to intervene. The grievances that have been given by the doctors are very true and are not an issue of debate.

“We believe that if we go back to the negotiating table, a long lasting solution will be proffered.”









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