New Zimbabwe.com

Doctors take aim at Chiwenga and health minister; demand expired drugs explanation

By Kingston Ndabatei


AN unintended slip-up by health ministry officials has triggered a new frontier in the on-going war of attrition between government and medical practitioners.

In a stinging statement Friday, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) claimed Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga must explain after it was claimed that the administration was distributing expired drugs.

Chiwenga on Thursday visited Parirenyatwa Hospital as well as government drugs manufacturer Natpharm in Harare as part of what medical practitioners claim is a sinister campaign meant to turn them into the fall-guys in the fight.

Doctors have been on strike for over a month now demanding better working conditions including availability of drugs.

“When we visited Natpharm, we did not see the protective clothing and laboratory machines we requested.

“Instead we noted that some of the medication which was being peddled as stocks was beyond expiry date and the said consignment has donor drugs (that) should not be passed for bought drugs to the taxpayer,” the statement claimed.

The ZHDA added that Moyo told Chiwenga that the drugs had been procured a fortnight ago.

However, in the statement the medical practitioners questioned why these medicines had not been distributed to hospitals.

“Furthermore, the Minister (Moyo) said the medication was procured two weeks ago but none has reached our hospitals.

“We would like to know whether the medication was kept until it expired or was procured ‘as is’ both of which are acts of sabotage to the nation and the Presidium and the Minister should be taken to task,” said ZHDA.

Government claims it is doing everything possible to make sure ordinary people have access to affordable drugs, but doctors have argued that the State has not done enough to ease the situation.