Doctors in Zimbabwe have embarked on a nationwide strike over poor allowances and other issues resulting in the shutting down of several departments in state-owned health institutions.
The disgruntled doctors started the strike on Wednesday – a time the government was finding it difficult to pay workers’ salaries promptly.
In a statement issued yesterday, the President of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), Dr. Edgar Munatsi, said:
“There was an overwhelming high response from Government doctors across the country. Central hospitals such as Mpilo, Parirenyatwa and Harare hospital today literally closed their Out-patients-department and cancelled emergencies. The ZHDA deployed a few doctors in casualty and emergency department to cover for emergency cases.
“This response by the ZHDA membership countrywide is a signal of the strong message that should there be no meaningful concessions from the employer on the three main sticking issues(post internship employment, on call allowance and duty free) service delivery is likely to further deteriorate as Government doctors in District and provincial hospitals are joining in from tomorrow (Thursday).”
“All government doctors are urged to remain resolute in this course. The ZHDAs will be meeting Clinical Directors and CEOs on your behalf. You are therefore advised to stay at home until further notice.
“Let us take inspiration from the resounding success of the first day of our strike.”
He further explained that the ZHDA is also considering approaching the office of the president and cabinet for a meeting to seek intervention on these issues.
Junior doctors went on strike a couple of months ago expressing dismay over similar issues, which were not wholly addressed by the government.
Africa Review reports that the doctors embarked on the strike due to the government failure to review their on call allowances from $288 a month, for the lowest paid doctor, to $720.