Follow the developing story of Zimbabwe junior doctors, who have gathered at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and are protesting over poor working conditions.
WED 2 OCT 2019 12.20PM (GMT+2)
The junior doctors are now at the offices of the Health Services Board, which are situated within Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. Singing and holding placards, they are demanding an address by their employer.
WED 2 OCT 2019 12 midday (GMT+2)
Thirty days after declaring incapacitation, or rather, the inability to report for work due to inadequate remuneration and poor working conditions, the junior doctors have now gathered at the main hospital’s casualty department, waiting for the authorities to address them. According to them, their contracts, signed before the abolition of the US dollar and the reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar, are dominated in US dollars and they want government, which is paying them in ZWL, calculate their salaries based on the prevailing interbank rate.
WED 2 OCT 2019 11am (GMT+2)
Dozens who have gathered are planning to march to the offices of their employer, the Health Services Board to present, among other issues, their inability to continue reporting for duty due to what they are calling “appalling and disgraceful” conditions of service.
WHERE THE DOCTORS STORY BEGINS
With Zimbabwe’s economy continuing to experience hyperinflation, salaries of doctors and other civil servants have been continually eroded.
Although government has made several interventions that include hardship allowances to all civil servants, the implied annual inflation rate of 800 percent as estimated by independent economists, has continued to erode the salaries and allowances, leaving many earning less than US$100.
In responce to the doctors’ strike, HSB chairperson, Paulinus Sikosana admitted that government was facing challenges and was not able to pay better salaries, and has even gone onto allow senior doctors to do private practice, or bring private patients into government hospitals.
“We have a policy that allows senior doctors to do private practice. We have given them permission to do private practice, even during working hours. One would have thought that at least for them, that would have cushioned them more than the junior doctors. And they have right of admission to bring their private patients to some of the theaters, for instance, Parirenyatwa, and charge them. So one has to take that into account,” he said.
UPDATES BY RUVIMBO MUCHENJE & SHEPHERD TOZVIREVA at Parirenyatwa Hospital
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND BY EVANS MATHANDA/ TAPIWA ZIVIRA