The negligence of Health and Child Care minister, David Parirenyatwa, in addressing the concerns of the country’s striking medical doctors and his recent utterances appear to have worsened the crisis, with doctors insisting they are not ready to return to hospital wards until their grievances are addressed in full.
The doctors said they were not particularly happy with the manner in which Parirenyatwa had been handling the industrial action, which entered its fourth week yesterday.
In a strongly-worded statement issued by the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) yesterday, doctors expressed extreme disappointment in Parirenyatwa for the poor manner in which he was handling the whole affair and, despite vowing that they were not prepared to end the strike, they exonerated President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the health mess.
Parirenyatwa recently announced verbally that the allowances which the doctors have been clamouring for were increased and ordered them to return to work.
But the doctors are saying unless it is in writing, their strike shall continue.
“The ZHDA would like to inform members of the press, public and other stakeholders of its stance following update by the ministry of Health concerning our strike which entered day 25 today.
“The ministry has dragged its feet since 23rd January this year to fix our issues and shown lack of urgency even during the strike. They do not value ordinary citizens’ lives and have lied to the press and the public several times.
“Negotiations are being done in bad faith, with gross misrepresentation of facts by the ministry and the minister.
“The reason why we have reached this critical point is that we accepted promises before from the same minister and ministry since 2014 and these continue to be broken.
“The ministry continues to threaten our members in an attempt to coerce them back to work.
“If they are genuinely working on these issues, why then threaten members,” reads the statement.
“In view of these issues raised, members would like to thank …the president for his intervention. He is a man of his word and we believe he will act with the urgency he has always shown.
“We would also like to express our lack of confidence in the minister and the ministry and as such feel that we will be short-changed like before as all communications go through the ministry.
“Members have therefore resolved to remain on strike until a solution has been tabled on paper and goes through the proper legal channels.
“We believe commitment on paper should not take long. We also want action in providing materials to use in hospitals,” the statement further reads.
Doctors in major hospitals across the country downed tools at the beginning of this month in protest against poor working conditions and unavailability of medicines and other important clinical materials which they said was making their job difficult. DailyNews