Back to Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Doctors and Nurses strikes
on junior doctors strike
Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
January 10, 2007
in Zimbabwe Coalition statement on senior doctors' strike
Read also: Health
sector halts as junior doctors strike
Association of Doctors for Human Rights calls upon the Ministry
of Health and Child Welfare to take urgent and practical steps to
bring the ongoing strike by junior doctors to an end. The strike
has severely compromised the standard of healthcare at the country's
major referral hospitals since 21 December 2006. Responsibility
lies with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in liaison with
other relevant Government departments to resolve the crisis immediately
and prevent further loss of life and unavailability of health care.
the dilatory approach taken by the Ministry regarding the strike.
Doctors had been on strike for two weeks before the Minister of
Health agreed to meet with them to discuss their grievances. This
offhand and disrespectful attitude to the country's up and
coming doctors has resulted in 20 years of distress among junior
doctors and recurring episodes of industrial action. While protecting
human life must remain the first priority, doctors must be granted
appropriate remuneration and conditions of work in order to deliver
effective health services.
inability to appropriately address the doctors' legitimate
concerns will ultimately lead to increased brain drain in a health
sector already crippled by a massive exodus of health professionals.
The knock on effect is being felt even now as medical school lecturers,
already too few in the face of bloated intakes of students, find
it impossible to teach while plugging the gaps in clinical services.
infant care has suffered especially badly during the strike. This
is a particular cause for concern as, compared to some regional
neighbours, in terms of important health outcomes, Zimbabwe is steadily
going downhill and has been doing so since at least 1990. Mortality
in children under the age of 5 has been steadily increasing and
our maternal mortality (at 1100 per 100,000 live births) is the
same as that of Somalia; Uganda's is 880, Zambia's 750. In that
context, to actively foster the exodus of junior doctors, those
who do the work of taking care of sick mothers and children in central
hospitals, by refusing to take them seriously or address their valid
concerns will ensure that this disaster only gets worse.
of ensuring that Zimbabweans' rights to health do not remain
compromised lies with the government which must take immediate measures
to resolve the impasse.
Visit the ZADHR
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.