Govt moves to block doctors’ strikes; VP says junior doctors not qualified – still students

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By Anna Chibamu

THE government is looking to change the status of junior doctors to reflect the fact they are still in training and not yet fully qualified, vice president Constantino Chiwenga has said.

He was speaking at press conference after touring a government-owned pharmaceutical company as well as the Parirenyatwa Group of Companies.

The move is part of plans to block future job action by the junior doctors who have been on strike since the beginning of the month.

Chiwenga, who is acting president, said the junior doctors should remain under the higher education minister until they complete their training.

“Government has spent a lot of money training these young doctors as what they want to call them,” he said.

“I think they are still in internship. They are not yet junior doctors. We are going to look at the law within our systems as we have found that the systems which were being followed were not correct.”

He continued; “When someone is still under training, you cannot call him/her a junior doctor.

“He/She is still on internship, and those regulations are going to be made. We will put them to parliament and, until somebody finishes, he or she is still under the ministry of higher and tertiary education because eventually, they are the ones who say – yes – he has finished and is now entitled to be registered as a doctor.

“These are some of the things that the government will look at; where the health ministry was taking over somebody who was still a student, not yet completed her studies.

“That was wrong, and we will not entertain wrong ills. The law does not allow that.”

WATCH Chiwenga below;