STRIKING doctors have snubbed the disciplinary hearings on Friday insisting that demanding fair wages is lawful.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association Treasury General Dr Tapiwa Mungofa told HealthTimes they are financially crippled to attend the hearings.
Doctors cannot and are not going to attend the disciplinary hearings because they don’t believe they committed any crime by being broke,” he said.
He added they cannot afford transport to go for the disciplinary hearings.
“And also the mere fact that doctors are incapacitated means they will not even afford the transport to go to the disciplinary hearings,” Dr Mungofa said.
The hearings are being held at the affected central hospitals. Health Service Board Public Relations Officer Tryfine Dzvukutu in an interview said there were no doctors on site.
“I have called people at the stations who are saying there were no doctors as of 11am. So I will be waiting for the updates and by 2pm I will be having them,” she said.
Inching 60 days is this job action by doctors arguing they are incapacitated. The doctors were dragged to court by their employer, (HSB).
HSB won the case at the Labour Court which ruled the industrial action illegal instructing the doctors to return for duty within 48 hours of the ruling.
The doctors could not go back to work maintaining that they were incapacitated. This forced the government to initiate disciplinary hearings on November 1 (today).
Acting Health and Child Care Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa on Tuesday during the Post Cabinet Media briefing said the labour action by doctors constrained public hospitals.
“Cabinet was informed by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, as the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care, that the Public Hospitals Medical Doctors’ strike has now gone beyond fifty six (56) days. Medical services at the hospitals remain constrained, especially at Harare and Bulawayo hospitals where the absence of doctors is more pronounced.
“As such, disciplinary hearings for the striking doctors who did not comply with the Labour Court judgement directing them to return to work within the prescribes period will commence on Friday, 1st November, 2019. The doctors have confirmed receipt of disciplinary hearings papers,” she said.
She added that they will not receive their salaries.
“The doctors have confirmed receipt of disciplinary hearings papers. Meanwhile, salaries will only be paid to doctors who were providing services. Government has also intensified efforts to sustainably ameliorate the situation in the public health sector,” Senator Mutsvangwa said.