Doctors cry incapacitation, threaten strike

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has given the government a three weeks’ notice to adjust their salaries or risk another crippling strike.

In a statement, Monday, the doctors said their working conditions have continued to deteriorate as the country`s economic situation continues to deteriorate.

ZHDA Provincial representatives spokesperson Dr Peter Magombeyi said the negotiations between the government and the Health Apex council has failed to yield any positive results.

“As the apex negotiations have been ongoing, in good faith we have soldiered on and tried our best to report for duty consistently as our is an essential service, but fortunately all our resources have now been exhausted whilst nothing substantial has yielded from the health services Bipartite negotiations which have gone on for months now,” Dr Magombeyi said.

“Over the past few months prices of basic goods and services have been rising astronomically with no changes in the basic income of civil servants.

“The cost of living has increased more than tenfold and yet salaries have been reviewed by less than10% with meagre cushion allowances which can barely suffice to purchase one basic food basket.

“Members are struggling to meet the costs of basic needs i.e food and shelter let alone clothing and health care. Forget sending our children to school and paying our bills.”

Dr Magombeyi said they want their salaries to pegged against the intermarket bank rate.

Currently doctors earn a basic salary of ZW$1 800.

When contacted for a comment, Dr Norman Matara from Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) confirmed the statement and said if the 3 weeks given period elapses doctors will go on strike.

“Yes, the statement is true, I know that ZHDZ released the statement today. “I think if the 3weeks given period elapses they are going to go on strike, it is what they agreed on their meeting,” Dr Matara said.

In addition, ZHDA Secretary General Dr Mthabisi Anele Bhebhe said the statement was a true reflection of the current position of doctors.

“If nothing is done, our grievances not met, we will notify them with another letter of our immediate strike,” said Dr Bhebhe.

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