THERE seems to be discord in the striking doctors camp amidst indications that some doctors have already resumed work despite the organisation representing them alleging that those who have resumed work have sold the struggle.
By Michael Gwarisa and Kudakwashe Pembere
According to Health Services Board (HSB) executive Chairman Dr Paulinus Sikosana, a health service bipartite negotiating forum was held which led to the two parties agreeing to end the strike after agreeing on certain areas.
However, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) Secretary General, Dr Anele Bhebhe poured water on the reports saying they were null and void and the strike was ongoing.
“The strike is on-going. Those were false and malicious reports,” said Dr Bhebe.
Investigations done by HealthTimes however indicate that some doctors have indeed resumed work despite calls by their representative body to stay put. According to updates from the Ministry of Information, Boradcasting and Publicity updates, statistics from the last six days indicate that all doctors from Marondera, Gweru, Gwanda, and Mutare reported for duty today.
“Some of our members are still divided as to the steps to take. We need factual information as to how many have sold out and how many remain in the trenches. However we have some amongst us spreading doubts and propaganda,” said one of the doctors who requested anonymity.
The development however has left striking doctors with little options as they risk losing their jobs should they continue with the strike.
According to reports, the doctors’ representatives yesterday agreed to return to work within 48 hours, following yesterday’s meeting which was also attended by representatives of other health sector labour unions including nurses.
Towards the end of last week, doctors met the First Lady, Auxilia Mnangagwa to iron out issues regarding the strike. The meeting however ended without no concrete resolution reached.
The doctors’ strike has been going on for at least 37 days with junior doctors citing a myriad of issues ranging from poor remuneration, poor working conditions, amongst a host of issues.