Doctors reject govt deal

ZHDA secretary-general Mthabisi Anele Bhebhe

Negotiations between government and striking doctors collapsed yesterday after the medical practitioners rejected a deal struck by negotiators, prolonging the month-long strike.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

ZHDA secretary-general Mthabisi Anele Bhebhe

Doctors in public hospitals have been striking for better pay and working conditions and negotiating teams reached an agreement to end the industrial action, but the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) membership rejected the deal and accused government of negotiating in bad faith.

In a statement, ZHDA said government said it could not pay the doctors in United States dollars because 99% of its revenue was electronic.

On the vehicle loan scheme demanded by the doctors, government said the existing facility had only $6 million left, but the scheme was to be complemented with a duty-free scheme.

“We had asked for a duty-free facility to cater for all our members. The Ministry of Health wants to provide it only to those who will benefit from the vehicle loan scheme alone. We are not happy at all with the move,” ZHDA said in a statement.

“The employer initially had said the cost of living adjustments would be made in February. That it has been postponed to April (to include the rest of the civil service) is something surprising and without honesty.

“We refused to sign such a bad offer with no clarity on issues that matter.”

Among those present during the negotiations were Apex Council members, Finance ministry permanent secretary, George Guvamatanga and his Health counterpart, Gerald Gwinji, among others.

ZHDA secretary-general, Mthabisi Anele Bhebhe said doctors rejected the government offer and will continue with the strike action.

Doctors have been protesting over pay, allowances and drug shortages at public health institutions, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government struggles with an economy experiencing rising inflation and prices, a shortages of cash, fuel and groceries.

But sources close to the negotiations said during the talks, the doctors had agreed to return to work while a framework to address their demands was being worked out.

The talks came a day after the expiry of the Sunday deadline issued by senior doctors and consultants — who have been holding fort during the strike — who on Friday issued a 48-hour ultimatum that government resolves the concerns raised by their striking colleagues or they would join the industrial action.

The striking junior doctors were last week suspended by Acting President Constantino Chiwenga for allegedly defying a court ruling to return to work.

Government had agreed to drop disciplinary cases against the doctors under the rejected deal.

To mitigate the crisis at public health institutions, government had attempted to hire students who recently graduated from university to replace the suspended doctors, but was rebuffed by the students.

Documents shown to NewsDay suggested a list of students from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), University of Zimbabwe (UZ), and other medical colleges from across the world had already been drawn up by government.

Meanwhile, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) yesterday called on government to apply a holistic approach in dealing with the strike by medical doctors.

“As a coalition, we are worried that the impasse, if not dealt with, will likely trigger similar job actions by other health professionals such as nurses who work closely with doctors,” CiZC said.

“We believe that a holistic approach will address major concerns in the health sector which is currently faced with a major industrial action by doctors and also struggling to cope with the health demands of the citizens due to shortages in essential drugs and equipment.”

17 Comments

  1. Kuwiriranakwakanakakugarakunzwanana Garanewakomurudohamandishe

    Comment…Musatanga madzinga vanhu mabasa, mozovatizve huyayi titaure. Nekuti imi ndimi munenge monyengera. Ivo vanenge vachingoti zvichemo zvedu munazvo. Chitangayi mazvigadzirisa, kunya apo panezvekushandisa. Nekuti vanetsigiro kubva kuvanhu “varapwi”. Nekudaro, kutungamirira akudi zano ndenga. Nekuti kwedu tinoti, ‘kukanya hurangana”. Vashandirwi mose, “musajairira kuti vashandi vatange varamwa basa mozogadzirisa zvichemo zvavo. Zvinenge zvorakidza kukundikana zvachose. Seyi imi murikunorapwa SA, Malasia India etc? Pamari, imi mukaipiwa iyo yavarikupiwa inokukwanirayi here?

  2. Problem is that the govt. thinks about us the people last. They demand everything in US dollars when they’re full aware nobody earns salaries in that currency and when we ask for our salaries in kind they cry foul. That’s warped logic, let’s be on the same wavelength for a start. We will bear with the govt when it starts listening to our concerns too. Communicating and consulting bears positive results than bulldozing and intimidating.

  3. Your headline is very misleading. I hope you do realise that its not a ‘deal” if the other party is offering nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even an increase in rtgs. Only thing govenment is offering is a promise not to fire people. Thats more of a threat than a deal to me. Please report facts. No deal was rejected because no deal was offered to begin with.

  4. I would encourage the government to increase the pay of doctors in bond notes and rtgs. Those who insist in getting paid in us dollars should go to Us and get employed there. You cannot reasonably insist on being given something which you know for sure is not available.

    1. mari yakaenda kupi?nhai va nhire

    2. Who told you the doctors “know for sure” that USD is not available? Speak for your zanu pf rural constituency or yourself, this one is way above your brains. When ED hired a Swiss jet for Grace was payment made in bond notes. Please show that apart from typing, you can think and you have a permanent not volatile memory…and a functional brain.

  5. To begin with , the government bought chiefs some vehicles which were imported in usd$ , but when the doctors say pay us in usd and give us vehicle loans the gvt now says they do not have usd, is this not double standard then ? Our government must learn to be honest.

  6. Comment…we are following with a keen eye…. this govnt is not sincere. our support to the striking doctors is on

  7. Comment…@Farai J Nhire, Hurumende Humende irikubhadharisa duty kupinza motokari. Inotambirisa vanhu US$z here
    Ivo vanorapwa, vana vavo vanodzidza kunze kwenyika vanobhadhara neZB$z here? Mumwe akada kuzviona seakakosha kukunda mumwe, dambudziko. Mubvunzo, seyi vachienda korapwa kunze sezvinonzi atina zvedu? Seyi vavo vachinodzidza kunze setisina zvedu?

  8. Fatso hauna nyaya tigarire pasi…during gnu wanhu pawaishandisa us dollar wakadii kuramba…mari iripo wari busy kuba mbavha idzi

  9. Bad. The Government and the doctors are trying to outsmart each other. And in the meantime, lives are being lost unnecessarily. Both the Government and the doctors should do more to make sure that lives are saved, as soon as possible.

  10. The Government has warped priorities and is negotiating in very bad faith, it is outright stupid to expect children to appreciate that their father has no money when he comes home late and very drunk everyday.

  11. Zimbabwe haidi vatongi inoda vatungamiri Haidi macommander kumapazi asi echiuto vanoporonga Vanhu vanoda mari kuti vararamise mhuri dzavo Mwakati mwawa kuisa bondcoins kuti vanhu vawane change Mwakatanga kuprinter ma2bond nema5bond kutiita vana venyu vasina zvavanoziva muchiti 1usd to 1bond manje mwawakuti hazvichaiti hakuna usd rakaendepi bondpaper rakauya tiine usd imwika tiitireyi mushe musatyisidzire vanhu munhu wese akakosha madoctors vanhu vakadzidza vanoziva kunyepa kwenyu vane madegree 7years pachikoro kkkkkk imwi hamuna enyu ndiwo ekupana aya uuuum hasha itai shoma bvunzaiwo vamwe kana musingzivi

  12. these young doctors are taking orders from harvest house at the expense of patients but sooner or later they will regret

    1. they have their own brains and are not zanu pf programmable robots, like you.

  13. @Eliasha,

    I totally agree. If they go for 2 months without pay then will then woke up and smell the coffee.

    Even before they went on strike vanomborapa zvipi zvacho. I have been to government hospitals before the strike and it’s a total disaster. The average junior doctors struggles to bandage a minor bruise! Regai ndinyarare ndisati ndatukwa papuratifomu ino.

    KKKKKKKKKKKK zvengu kuseka kwepaOnLine

  14. @willo neweElisha ko venyu sei vachienda kunorapwa kunze musataure kwamusina kuswera zvinotaura kuti vana vadiki hamusati mayarutsa graduate so shut up

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