GOVERNMENT hospital doctors say they will be withdrawing their services from most public hospitals in the next three days following a stalemate in negotiations between the Health Apex council and government over the salary and cost of living adjustment issue
By Michael Gwarisa
In a letter, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting president, Dr Peter Magombeyi said attempts to engage government had proved futile despite numerous attempts to engage diplomatically.
This letter serves as a notice that starting the 3rd of September this year, doctors from Mpilo, Bulawayo United, Parirenyatwa Group, Harare and Chitungwiza Central Hospitals are not going to report for work.
“We simply do not have the means to continue coming to work because the salary is not sufficient. Attempts to engage the employer have proved futile, letters have been written and meeting have been attended through the Bipartite Negotiation Panel to register this concern,” said Dr Magombeyi.
He added that no satisfactory agreement has been reached so far to cushion the doctors from current high costs of living.
“Delays by Health Services Board (HSB) in reviewing our salaries has exposed us to incapacitation. To this end, it is within this reason that on the date stated above, we will not report for duty until the salaries are adjusted to an interbank rate that is based on the market forces of the day.”
This is the fourth time doctors have declared incapacitation since the month of June this year over the high costs of living and what they term “Slave Wages” which have been eroded by hyperinflation.
Early this year, junior doctors from all public hospitals downed tools. However, they had to call off the strike after decisions emerged amidst indications that some doctors were bribed into calling off the strike.
The doctors are rejecting the 60% cost of living adjustment which they believe is a mockery to the hard working men and women. However, some civil servants including doctors have since accepted the 60% salary increment a situation which according to some doctors has already divided doctors ahead of the announced strike.