Press statement on doctors’ strike

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association wishes to advise members of the press, stakeholders and its members on the following developments on the strike by government doctors which is now entering its 14th day.

1. The Health Services Board and The Minister of Health, Dr Parirenyatwa have not been forthcoming to resolve the issues raised by the ZHDA members to date. Instead they have engaged in deliberate misinformation of the public using state media and resorted to a failed strategy of issuing legally void threats to the striking doctors. This in our view is a sign of failure and must be immediately followed by resignation of the entire Health Services Board and the Minister of Health

2. We note with concern the closure of almost all central hospitals, children’s units, provincial hospitals and cessation of emergency life saving procedures throughout the country. We place this failure directly on the heels of Dr Parirenyatwa and the Health Services Board who have shown disinterest and lack of urgency in resolving the demands of the striking doctors.

3. The ZHDA leadership only is mandated to call off the doctor’s strike after consultation and agreement with its members. Any pronunciations by the HSB, Minister of Health or other affiliate health associations are of no effect to the striking doctors. Any other strikes by other associations such as nurses or paramedics are not in any way linked to the doctors demands and no blanket negotiations or conflation of the separate demands will be entertained. Any maneuvers to the contrary or insinuations by other health associations will not be tolerated.

4. The ZHDA members at United Bulawayo Hospitals will demonstrate tomorrow from 10am to show solidarity with our patients who continue to be deprived of health care by the doctor’s employer. Members in and around Bulawayo, including Mpilo Hospital are urged to join. Meetings with higher authorities are being sought and all members are encouraged to remain resolute and dutybound to restore the dignity of the doctors’ profession.

5. The ZHDA is recalling all the doctors we had instructed to remain at their stations to cover for emergencies. This in effect implies that from tomorrow, day 14 of the strike all consultants, registrars, district medical officers and general medical officers are now formally joining the strike.

6. We will only return to work when all issues raised by the ZHDA have been FULLY resolved.
We urge all Zimbabweans to pray for us as we try to restore sanity, dignity and nobility of the medical profession.

Source: Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA)

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