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Doctors challenge government

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PUBLIC hospitals junior doctors will today file an urgent High Court application seeking an interdict order to stop government from garnishing their salaries over their involvement in last month’s strike .

BLESSED MHLANGA
STAFF REPORTER

This follows a recent directive by Secretary for Health and Child Care Gerald Gwinji ordering public hospital chief executive officers and provincial medical directors to effect salary cuts on all medical doctors who took part in the strike.

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) said it would challenge the directive in court on behalf of its members.

“ZHDA will tomorrow morning (today) file an urgent chamber High Court application to challenge the decision by the Ministry of Health and Child Care to deduct an alarming total of $529,36 from the salaries of all doctors who are accused of participating in a legal industrial action,” ZHDA in a statement said.
The doctors argued that Gwinji’s directive was illegal and infringed on their right to engage in industrial action.

“This evil move is intended to be implemented against the backdrop of doctors earning around $283 as basic salary and some meagre allowances. The ZHDA is shocked that within the top echelons of the Ministry of Health and Child Care, there are individuals who continue to harbour nefarious, retrogressive and dangerous intentions to set doctors into engaging into a collision course with the government, their patients and even their morality. This is evidenced by the recent utterances made by Dr Paul Chimedza in the private media recently where he described doctors as drunkards and chain smokers.”

Some 400 junior doctors downed their tools for three weeks last month demanding an upward review in their monthly earnings which they described as far below their counterparts in the region.

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