SENIOR Doctors who had remained behind offering medical services to patients at Parirenyatwa Hospital have downed tools demanding reinstatement of all fired 435 doctors.
By Michael Gwarisa and Kudakwashe Pembere
In a letter addressed to the Parirenyatwa Hospital Clinical Director, Dr Aspect Muanganidze, the Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) said the continued victimisation of doctors by government must stop immediately.
We, the SHDA met with our members on the 25th of November 2019 and we deliberated on the myriad of challenges currently befalling the medical fraternity. We have noted with the grave concern the wanton dismissal of over 450 doctors, the continued summoning of doctors for disciplinary hearing and the withholding of the paltry salaries for the doctors.
“The SHDA had continued to engage the employer in dialogue whilst the hostilities on its membership was continuing unabated. Of note is these actions have not capacitated either the hospitals themselves or the human resource base,” said SHDA.
The doctors said they will no longer be able to offer any emergency services as from November 26, 2019 14:00 hours until all fired doctors are reinstated and there is adequate redressal of their incapacitation.
“Members also took note of the continued poor outcomes on the patients being attended to. Due to the above, we will no longer be able to offer any services until the matters we have raised are urgently addressed.”
Apart from these matters raised, a senior doctor who requested anonymity explained to this publication that they are being oveburdened with the work. The source said despite government’s efforts to bring in some medical equipment, the equipment’s plugging is not compatible to the Zimbabwean standards as most of the items come from country’s which do not use square plugs.
Meanwhile, while senior doctors demand the reinstatement of junior and middle level doctors citing work burden and incapacitation, 57 of them have been served with charge sheets for not reporting for duty.
“Serving of charging letters for 57 senior doctors at central hospitals commenced on the 25 th of November 2019,” Information, media and broadcasting minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa told the media in a post media cabinet briefing on Tuesday.
Asked what measures there are to replace the fired doctors, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said they will flight an advertisement by end of this week inviting applications to fill up the vacant posts.
“We are saying here those doctors who are interested in working in the public sector, even those doctors who are registered with the Medicines and Dental Practitioners COuncil of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) are welcome to apply,” he said.
Apart from transport, food and accommodation arrangements, the Health Minister told this publication they are waiting for the Treasury allocation they got in the budget to kick in so they can address the issue of salaries for health workers.