Junior doctors threaten to snub disciplinary hearings

THE over 500 suspended junior doctors at public hospitals have vowed to snub disciplinary hearings scheduled for today at their various work stations around the country and continue with their industrial action until government has acceded to their demands for improved working conditions.

BY EVERSON MUSHAVA/VANESSA GONYE

The doctors are demanding to be paid in United States dollars, among other demands, but government has turned down the request, saying it had no capacity to do so.

The striking doctors were advised to appear for disciplinary hearings after government ruled their industrial action as illegal. This comes as negotiations to end the strike culminated in a stalemate.

Acting President Constantino Chiwenga, who was tasked with resolving the dispute, ordered their suspension through the Health Services Board on Christmas Eve.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) secretary-general Mthabisi Bhebhe confirmed their resolve to snub the hearings.

“We have been notified of disciplinary hearings across all central hospitals tomorrow (today), and as for the time and other details, we have not been advised,” he said.

Asked on whether they would attend the hearings, Bhebhe said: “Nope, no one is going.”

Harare Central Hospital chief executive officer, Nyasha Masuka confirmed the pending hearings, adding that his hospital had only managed to notify a few doctors on the matter.

“We are trying to get hold of them through the human resources office, which will be conducting the disciplinary hearings tomorrow [today], but only a few have been notified,” Masuka said.

Meanwhile, the ZHDA yesterday revealed that government signed a legally binding agreement to pay doctors in US dollars last March, but was reneging on its commitment.

The doctors made the disclosure while responding to Chiwenga’s recent remarks that government would not pay any of its workers in foreign currency.

In a statement yesterday, the doctors said:“The employer agreed through signed legally binding agreements in March 2018 to pay the doctors in United States dollars.
Doctors are, therefore, asking the employer to honour the agreement. The need comes as a result of the harsh economic situation which has seen the Real Time Gross Settlement salaries being devalued by nearly four times on the market whether officially or unofficially.”

They added: “The employer also agreed that the on-call allowance of doctors should be US$10 per hour in a deal dating back to 2014. The doctors are asking the employer to honour the agreement and review the on-call allowance to that figure.”

Chiwenga, in his statement, accused the doctors of negotiating in bad faith, describing them as insensitive and being driven by political forces.

But the doctors hit back, accusing government of lying that it had given in to most of the doctors’ demands except two — the US dollar salaries and car import loan facility.

13 Comments

  1. Its too late junior Doctors the government has moved on and anyone who does not attend the hearings will definitely be fired, you ungrateful lot who abandoned the sick at their hour of need, there are now other plans for a permanent solution using other professionals who do not dabble in politics but have the welfare of the sick at heart.

  2. I feel there is need for new brains in the Health Perm Sec’s office.

  3. Eliasha train of thought really befuddles the mind. What does he live on this guy? He is benefiting from the system I think since most of his contributions defy logic.

  4. @Elisha…..musoro wenyu mambo handioni seunechinhu bcz everything you say it lacks logic, gvnt ngainzwe zvichemo kwete kuwanza hasha

  5. Eliasha’s contributions have never dified logic. It is those doctors’ demands which defy logic. How can you go about demanding something which you know for sure is not available? Why don’t you go and look for employment in America if you love the united states dollar so much? The main problem you already know the nation faces is the shortage of hard currency and that is what you are demanding frome government! Is that logical at all if I may ask? Yes, according to the current cost of living, you are certainly underpaid and the government seriously needs to make an incremement but in the form of money that is available. You should never be fooled by opposition politicians who will never be happy to see your well being for their political expedience and getting along with their shenanigans may cost you a lot in the not so distant future.

  6. Hameno but I think no one was prepared for that mad week in October when prices went up exorbitantly. Many companies are struggling to match the salaries to the extent that most have not increased salaries. It should be noted that the government is not in this problem alone even companies that have increased prices are struggling to increase salaries. They increased prices but volumes have gone down. The solution to the challenge may not be as easy as we think…… Putting heads together may be necessary.

    1. Note that some heads are empty. Others are full of ants, others full of grenades and bullets and others are troubled by the blood they spilled since the 70s. What one does not know, one can at least learn. What if one has no capacity or ability to learn? Thinking becomes a bit of a challenge after that….eh?

  7. Vazvinyanya Vanhu ava

    Problem with government is short sightedness. they want to solve problems one by one yet all of them including doctors’ strike, fuel shortages are all monetary policy related plus reckless gvt expenditure. The real reason why GVT does not want to join the Rand Monetary Union is their inability to keep budget deficit below 10% and that is why in 2009 we adopted a Multi Currency regime with no strict conditions like what the T & Cs of using the rand solely require. Right now these stop gap measures have not brought any stability at all..

    remember 2014 bond coins
    bond notes
    forex rationing and allocation
    separation of rtgs and usd plus zvaana FCA domestic nostro

    Yet ana Farai J Nhire, Eliasha, Anonymous naana Cde Mzvinavhu each time these measures were put maingoti ” Good move by the government, this will definitely steer the economy on a recovery path.” Anyway mafungirowo enyu

    1. Chitungwiza C Junction Boys

      Shefu, Namibia right now is exploring ways to abandon the Rand and here you are talking nonsense. Wait and see when SA start taking land then you’ll see real chaos

  8. Vice president and mangudya promised delta 2 us millions for their operations.
    So what is important to Zimbabweans hupenyu or hwahwa.

    1. Hupenyu is more important but Delta ikavhara panoita mariro baba. Delta means life in the sense yekuti yakatakura down stream. Tuma BottleStore tunova turikurarama neDelta tungavhara. Thats why gvt yamanyamanya….. my view

  9. Nyaya yemadhokotera i think we have very few of them. which is another reason why they are very expensive as compared to SA. I was thinking, some of the senior nurses should be allowed to study medicine as a way of upgrading themselves, madhokotera awande both in private and public. Some of these nurses have good experience now after working with many doctors. Kuwanda kwavo kunoita kuti basa riitwe nemhazvo. My thinking

  10. 0Vana Eliasha. Mapuppets EZanu PF hapana zvoozivikanwa. Vangojaira boot licking chete havazi maindependent thinkers. …..intellectual hypocrisy yega yega

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