Doctors made a formidable union in pushing for their concerns and for three months they haggled with their employer demanding better working conditions and renumeration. Solidly they did not waiver nor bulk under pressure even when some were fired they remained resolute.
Some were threatened and their leader Peter Magombeyi abducted and tortured but they stood firm.
But the government played its one and only card — divide/rule and conquer. It made sad reading that another association was on the threshold of being launched. This group, for reasons best known to it, has refused to divulge the rationale for coming up with another group nor what they will do differently to bring sanity to the hospitals which have been struggling to remain open in the absence of medical personnel.
The Progressive Doctors Association, scheduled to be launched tomorrow according to their communique which was widely circulated, is just but a front with handlers dictating its operations and functions.
This cowardly move by the government of infiltrating the doctors is pathetic and should be frowned upon with the scorn it deserves.
Instead of focusing on key fundamentals which include resourcing the hospitals and retooling the doctors, the government is busy misdirecting efforts.
Surely it is clear to many that the issues raised by the doctors were genuine and did not need a rocket scientist to figure out the solution. Recapacitating the doctors is a priority which is being sidelined by these charades which do not have permanent solutions other than an avalanche of egos rubbing each other the wrong way.
Cheap politicking of this nature will not bring the relief that is urgently needed to fix the health malaise.
Stakeholders have proffered solutions but these have been ignored. This latest trick of dividing the doctors is only meant to weaken their resolve and dilute the key issues. Which is why many now doubt the sincerity of the Higher Life Foundation offer. Though noble and seemingly well-meaning, there is more that needs to be fixed and while at it how about long-term solutions like crowd funding, whipping up domestic resources rather that looking to our erstwhile friends for solutions?
The government can show its commitment by allocating 15% of the national budget towards health and following through with the actual disbursement to key areas as well as looking into remuneration which is commensurate with regional standards. Inaction or delay will see another massive brain drain which will further compromise the health delivery services which are hanging by the thread.