THE situation in public health institutions has ground to a halt at the back of a prevailing impasse between government and doctors to resolve the prevailing labour dispute which has seen doctors leaving their work stations 43 days ago.
By Michael Gwarisa
The doctors’ labour action was last week declared illegal by the Labour Court which ordered them to resume their duties. However, the doctors maintain that the court order does not capacitate them and neither does it bring food to their tables.
Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), acting Secretary General Dr Tawanda Zvakada said they wold not genuflect to government’s threats of disciplinary action and would only return to work when their demands have been met.
It’s now day 43 and it’s not easy, so far we have only had three official meetings with the employer, the first one is the one which ended with the employer awarding us 30% and 60% respectively. The last meeting which we had in the presence of acting permanent secretary we set a benchmark to say that if the employer would meet this benchmark, it would show commitment and sincerity to resolve this impasse.
“The message from the meeting is that we still share the same sentiments of “No Money, No Work.” The verdict from the court won’t capacitate us just like the abduction of our leader did not capacitate us,” said Dr Zvakada.
He added that government was moving at a slow pace in trying to address the stalemate and the doctors were ready to even breach the 100 day record that was set by Kenyan Doctors in 2017.
“We remain strong and determined to overcome these hurdles until we get what we get to 100 days incapacitation and on day 100 they got what they wanted. For us it’s still day 43 and it’s still a long way to go so it’s Alluta all the way until victory comes and it’s not easy.”
The strike in saw the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organisation (WHO) intervening close to day 63 into the strike and by day 100, they singed an agreement with government.
The doctors’ nationwide declared incapacitation and have been holding solidarity meetings where they share updates as a way of having ideas from their various constituencies.
“The situation in our hospitals is dire at the moment as they are no doctors to attend. In today’s meeting there were few doctors who attended as majority of doctors could not attend because they are grossly incapacitated.”