Government fires 77 doctors

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By Idah Mhetu

GOVERNMENT has fired 77 doctors after they ignored the labour court ruling which had ordered them to return to work last month.

This followed continued defiance by the doctors to abide by the Labour Court order citing incapacitation.

According to Mutsvangwa the doctors strike entered day 63 on Tuesday demanding a review of the allowances and salaries pegged at the interbank rate.

Addressing the media during a post cabinet briefing in the capital Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government has been conducting disciplinary hearings since the beginning of November and 77 doctors have been cut loose.

“Disciplinary hearings for the doctors by the Health Services board commenced on 1st of November . Of the 80 doctors charged, 77 were found guilty and were discharged,” said Mutsvangwa.

Early last month the doctors rejected a 100% salary increment by government citing the money was not enough to keep up with the soaring inflation.

Mutsvangwa said the situation in central hospitals remained constrained and has also been worsened by the City of Harare nurses who have not been reporting for work citing incapacitation.

“Medical services at most central hospitals therefore remain constrained. The situation has been exacerbated by the City of Harare nurses who have since stopped reporting for duty, citing incapacitation,” she added.

Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said the firing of the doctors would not affect the situation in hospitals.

“The situation in the hospitals is the same without those 77 doctors who have been on strike, so nothing will change. We should be able to provide services there are no doctors coming to work except for the few who have been reporting for work,” Moyo said.