Doctors strike: Government ropes in foreigners

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By Leopold Munhende

SOME 50 foreign doctors are expected in the country on Sunday to work in its public hospitals 38 days after junior and middle level doctors downed tools, government communication has revealed.

A letter that leaked Wednesday afternoon signed by Health Ministry permanent secretary Agnes Mahomva to the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s James Manzou seeking assistance in processing papers of the contracted health practitioners.

“Please be advised that the first contingent of 50 foreign medical personnel contracted to provide services in the country’s public health institutions will arrive on Sunday 13 October 2019,” reads the statement

“I am hereby requesting your office’s usual cooperation in the processing of aforementioned individuals.”

Government on Monday lodged papers with the Labour Court to declare the doctors activities illegal despite it accepting that their salaries have been eroded and they are incapacitated.

Threats from Health Minister Obadiah Moyo last week that all doctors engaged in the protests will be fired have not moved them but instead spurred them on to reach 100 days out of their wards.

The decision to bring in foreign personnel follows a failed attempt to deal with the crisis by roping in members of the military.

The army doctors have failed to make an impact on the situation that has turned hospitals into death traps according to reports.