MEDICAL doctors staged a demonstration at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals demanding that the government acts on their demands, as their protest, which has crippled service delivery at major government institutions, entered day 23 yesterday.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The strike began on March 1, but doctors are failing to find common ground with the government.
The doctors accused the government of negotiating in bad faith and failing to take their issues seriously.
Among their demands, they want an increase of their on-call allowances, a waiver on vehicle duty and revision of their rural allowances.
“We have been at the bipartite negotiation panel and nothing come out of those meetings, except for them to come and offer us a $0,75 per hour increase, which they then go to the media and call it a 50% increase, which is meaningless,” Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association spokesperson, Mxolisi Ngwenya said.
“We met the minister, who agreed to source funds and talk to us, but we were surprised when the same minister came out saying we have found a resolution.
“Our consultancy has gone to meet the Vice-President and say there is a resolution that was being found, but we say our members need documentation to say this has been done and we need that to be put on paper so that we can then say we are going back to work.”
Ngwenya said there were reports of $22 million being released for the procurement of drugs in December, but the situation has not improved since then.
He accused Health minister David Parirenyatwa of employing cheap propaganda by claiming their concerns had been sorted, yet nothing had been done.
“Today marks day 23 of the national strike by doctors over the same sticking issues that have been there since 2014. We are saying there is no essential drugs and equipment in our hospitals and we want our on-call allowances increased to $10 per hour as compared to the current $1,50 per hour, which they promised us in 2014,” he said.
The placard-waving doctors also accused authorities of buying expensive vehicles, while on the other hand, overlooking their working conditions and that of patients.
Some of the placards read: “I offer services I can’t afford”; “Unsafe for doctors- unfair for patients”; “Asifuni bumbulu $1,50 No”; “Tired doctors make mistakes”; “Monster of health”, “CEO has a Jeep — patients have no drip”; “Zimbabwe open for business-closed for health”; “Parirenyatwa a perennial failure-he must go”.