THE labour dispute between the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) and the Health Services Board (HSB) escalated yesterday with ZHDA president Fortune Nyamande challenging HSB board members to disclose their pay sheet showing bonuses they allegedly received last year.
The challenge came in the wake of the decision by nurses in public hospitals to embark on a go-slow over the delay in payments of their bonuses which were due in December.
Nyamande in a statement said the government should set up an enquiry into the operations of the HSB saying it had to disclose how much money it had been receiving from the Health Transition Fund (HTF).
He said the HSB also had an obligation to explain the procedure they used to deduct doctors’ salaries after the latter embarked on an industrial action last year.
“We also reiterate our appeal to government to immediately set up an enquiry into the duties, conduct and actions of the HSB,” he said. “Key questions which they should immediately answer include which legal framework they used to unilaterally and illegally deduct our salaries, how much does the HSB (members) earn and can they give us a detailed payroll on how much contributions they have been receiving from the HTF.”
HSB public relations officer Nyasha Maravanyika, however, said he was not aware of the statement issued by the doctors and expressed concern over their failure to engage the HSB using the Health Service Tripartite Negotiating Forum (HSTNF).
“We appreciate doctors’ concerns, but we cannot comment on issues that would have been raised in the Press without first engaging us. We have a platform where we negotiate with doctors and we expect that they know the grievance procedures,” he said.
Nyamande said the industrial action by nurses would make it difficult for doctors to discharge their duties.
Late last year, government deducted $300 off doctors’ salaries as punishment for taking part in “illegal” strike which brought the health sector to a standstill for two weeks. At least 300 ZHDA members participated in the 17-day job action in October demanding an upward salary review to
$1 200 and improved conditions of service.
The ZDHA executive described the move as a direct violation of Zimbabwe’s labour laws, total disregard of the country’s Constitution and sabotage of social services delivery.