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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Doctors and Nurses strikes

  • Senior doctors join the strike
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    January 10, 2007

    Read also: ZADHR statement on junior doctors' strike
    Read also: Health sector halts as junior doctors strike

    The situation at the country's major hospitals has become critical, as senior doctors, (consultants) have joined the three week long industrial action. The consultants have downed tools stating that they needed the demands by junior staff to be met. Of the 350 doctors at Parirenyatwa Hospital only 11 reported for work today.

    The striking doctors' demands are justified and should be met. What the government and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare should put into consideration is the service delivered by these people who have tried to cope under difficult circumstances. The country is badly hit by the exodus of doctors and these junior medical practitioners had to put in extra hours to serve patients. On a normal day they work for more than 12 hours only to be slapped by a humiliating $56 000 at the end of each month.

    The Crisis Coalition Information team caught up with the President of The Hospital Doctors Association,(HDA) Dr. Kudakwashe Nyamutukwa who indicated that talks between the Minister of Health Dr. D. Parirenyatwa, the Health Service Board and the senior doctors referred to as Resident Medical Officers (SRMOs) were in progress. He was quick to point out that all efforts by the junior doctors had yielded nothing but threats from the minister and state operatives. The doctor wrote to the minister three weeks before the industrial action but the minister did not respond. He had to wait for the doctors to go on a strike only to come to the table with threats of imprisonment.

    The junior doctors have in turn chosen not to talk to the minister because what they are bargaining for is reasonable remuneration for their services. The senior doctors are negotiating for the junior doctors since their absence from hospitals implies that the consultants report to the duties of the junior doctors, a development which the senior doctors are not prepared to take as it undermines their consultancy duties. He went on to state that the joining of the senior doctors in the strike is a sign of solidarity in fighting for a common cause.

    Crisis Coalition calls on the government to urgently address the situation and avoid what transpired in 2003 when the strike by doctors was unnecessarily prolonged for more than three months. The situation is desperate enough and needs the relevant Ministry to act as speedily as possible.

    Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition fact sheet

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