Doctors in threat climbdown

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

THE Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has backtracked on its decision to exit the Health Apex Council after continuously blasting the forum for its ‘compromising’ nature.

The junior doctors who were protesting at Parirenyatwa Hospital over paltry salaries, had earlier on announced that the current health workers negotiating forum had failed to address their concerns during meetings with government.

Doctors downed tools a month ago and are pressing on with the job action forcing public hospitals to turn away patients.

Addressing journalists outside the Health Service Board offices in Harare, Wednesday, ZHDA secretary general, Tawanda Zvakada said they would be opting to have Health Apex board chaired by Panganai Chivese restructured.

“We want to address the issue of the Health Apex which has been there for a very long time and we have reason to believe that it might be compromised in some way.

“It has been signing on behalf of all health associations some ridiculous offers which come from the government that cannot sustain us for even a month,” said Zvakada.

As health associations, we will be having a meeting to restructure the Health Apex Council so we can resume meaningful negotiations

“We wanted to exit the Health Apex Council completely but through various consultations, we were informed that it is quite a bit tricky to leave at the moment. So as an alternative, we decided to restructure it. If we are to exit, we have to have a separate negotiating panel which we don’t have at the moment.”

Health Apex Council is the health workers labour body which seeks to improve the welfare of its members ZHDA included.

A bulk of health care workers including Zimbabwe Health Workers Union, Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA), Zimbabwe Pharmacy Technicians Association (ZIPTA), Zimbabwe Environmental Health Technicians, Zimbabwe Government Therapists Association (ZGHA) are represented by the council in it’s talks with government.

Doctors have refused to resume duties despite pleas from government arguing incapacitation.