JUNIOR medical doctors from all the country’s major referral hospitals have given the government a 14-day ultimatum to review their salaries and on-call allowances, failure of which they will down their tools.
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association yesterday wrote to the Health and Child Care ministry demanding an urgent review of their working conditions and a comprehensive response to the possibility of an Ebola outbreak.
Part of the letter reads: “This notice serves to inform your office that the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association is deeply concerned by the current salaries, allowances and working conditions for doctors working in the above-mentioned government hospitals.
“After nationwide consultations with our membership over the last few months, we resolved that the association shall approach government through your office to seek an upward review of the basic salary doctors are receiving.
“We expect your response to the above-mentioned issues in writing within 14 days and failure of which will lead to a nationwide strike by our members.”
The doctors are demanding that their salaries be reviewed from the current $282 to a minimum of $1 200 per month excluding allowances. They called upon the government not to charge rentals on doctors residing in government-provided accommodation.
The medical practitioners also said the government must reinstate the facility where doctors would import vehicles duty-free.
“We also resolved that government must pay at least $1,45 x hourly rate as on-call allowances,” the doctors said.
“The government must urgently come up with a comprehensive response to the possibility of an Ebola outbreak that shall protect doctors, other health workers and their families from the deadly disease.”
Junior doctors at Parirenyatwa Hospital last week went on a two-day strike in a bid to press the government to review housing allowances and improve their living and working conditions.
They, however, later called off the job action after being advised to follow proper channels to air their grievances.