Doctors Strike Paralyse Zim Health Sector
The strike by doctors at public hospitals, which started last weekend, is set to continue after a meeting between Health minister Obadiah Moyo and the doctors’ representatives yesterday ended without an agreement while a meeting of the ruling Zanu PF party’s politburo ignored the growing crises in the country.
Moyo and the doctors were locked in a meeting last night, the second of the day after the first in the morning failed to break the standoff. The doctors are protesting over pay, allowances and drugs shortages as the nation reels from a cash crunch, price hikes and shortages of basic goods, medicines and fuel.
Sources told NewsDay that the meeting made inroads, but no decision was made, a development confirmed by a statement from the Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), which represents more than 1 000 members.
“We recognise the minister’s effort in creating a legal platform for the negotiation of our grievances. The subsequent meeting was, however, unfruitful. Our employer, as always, was trying to ignore our grievances, citing several technicalities which derail the necessary progress to resolve the impasse,” the ZHDA said in
“The employer went an extra mile to discuss the old grievances of other medical professions while dragging on the real issues at hand. We are shocked at the unwillingness of the employer to bring urgent solutions to the situation and rather play the ‘legal’ card.”
The ZHDA added: “It is our understanding that they may try to victimise the leaders of the current strike, citing the same reasons. We, however, remain motivated in our course and will wait for them to come to terms with reality and give the situation the urgency it deserves.
“We are aware of the effort of some of the former (ZHDA) leaders to bring the political card so as to influence the government’s position. We reiterate that as ZHDA, we are and will remain apolitical. Our grievances are genuine and motivated by the ongoing situation in our field. We will not tolerate those nonsensical useless agendas.
We will continue with the industrial action untill such a time when the employer decides to take the situation seriously. We urge our members to remain resolute and focused!”
According to the statement, the next meeting is scheduled on Tuesday next week.
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