Today marks the 42nd day since doctors nationwide declared incapacitation. Despite numerous efforts to engage with the Health Services Board about the harsh economic challenges doctors are facing due to the continued erosion of their salaries, there has been little meaningful progress made to date.
It must be noted with great concern, that only three formal meetings have taken place between the ZHDA National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Health Services Board in the last six weeks, since incapacitation was declared. The first two meetings ended in a stalemate, with the Health Services Board offering an increment of 30% and 60% respectively despite the reality that doctors’ salaries have been eroded by more than 1500% over the past few months. On Friday 11th October another meeting was held with the Permanent Secretary, Mr Madyiradema, in attendance; however, no progress was made as the Health Services Body has reiterated the offer of a 60% increment.
The ZHDA has tabled a proposal to have on-call allowances reviewed monthly in accordance with the prevailing interbank rate. However, the Health Services Body has rejected this offer due to their inability to peg salaries to USD. The ZHDA has requested that the Health Services Body reconsider what viable options exist that will not leave doctors in a continued state of incapacitation and reflect a genuine appreciation for the prevailing economic environment and the reality of the financial predicament that has left doctors unable to offer their services.
The ZHDA will continue to negotiate for a viable solution to end this unfortunate impasse and has noted with great dismay the verdict of the Labour Court calling for doctors to return to work on Monday 14th October 2019. While doctors would want nothing more than to return to work in service of their patients, they continue to be incapacitated and lack the resources to allow them to comply with the Labour Court judgement. An appeal will be lodged with a higher court. ZHDA continues to advocate for quality health services which include adequately stocked hospitals and fairly remunerated staff. We remain hopeful that a sincere and lasting solution will be found.
For latest updates you can visit our web page www.zhda.org
Solidarity meeting: Monday (tomorrow) 14/10/2019, Time 0900hrs,Venue Parirenyatwa Main Entrance
Source: Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA)