MEMBERS of Mpilo Hospital Doctors’ Association yesterday staged a demonstration at the health institution complaining about poor infrastructure, shortage of drugs while at the same time demanding salaries in hard currency.
BY SINDISO DUBE
The disgruntled doctors stormed hospital premises carrying placards inscribed with their demands and vowed not to return to work until their grievances are addressed.
“They are forcing us to work under inhospitable conditions. What they pay us is little and the working conditions make it difficult to deliver. We don’t have adequate medicines and other medical materials,” Philip Dembura, Mpilo Hospital Doctors’ Association vice-president said.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association secretary-general Mthabisi Bhebhe said the striking doctors will not moved or threatened to go back to work till their issues are resolved.
“We shall not stop this struggle for a better living and better working conditions. Hospitals remain empty with acute shortage of drugs, medical and surgical sundries. Working conditions are deplorable and with obsolete hospital equipment. The welfare of service providers is forgotten and forsaken. The industrial action initially involved only central hospitals, but has grown to reach provincial and district hospitals,” he said.
Mpilo Hospital acting clinical director Xolani Ndlovu urged the striking doctors to be patient and revealed that only senior doctors were reporting for duty.
“Junior resident medical officers are the ones on strike and when the strike started we temporarily suspended all out-patient consultations. We are dealing with the emergency department. So far there is no sudden increase in the number of deaths. The conflict with the striking doctors is with their employer, the Health Services Board which is overseen by the Ministry of Health. I hope the issue will be solved amicably and see doctors returning to work, my concern is with the patients,” he said.