Junior doctors break away from Health Apex Council

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

DOCTORS finally announced their exit from the Health Apex Council after a stillborn bipartite meeting with government on Friday.

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has been flirting with the idea for sometime and twice in the last few months have gone back after indicating intention to break-away.

The Health Apex Council chaired by Panganai Chivese represents a bulk of health workers associations, ZHDA included, in talks with government concerning their welfare; working conditions and remuneration.

Junior doctors have constantly blasted the Health Apex Council for failing to satisfactorily address their concerns.

They join their senior counterparts who left the forum and are now engaging government on a separate platform.

ZHDA had on Wednesday informed the media that it had backtracked on the decision to exit the Health Apex suggesting it would not be a wise move on their part.

In a statement by the ZHDA Information desk, doctors said the current negotiation forum was heavily compromised.

“ZHDA has officially announced in the bipartite meeting its exit from Apex and gave it to task the Health Service Board (HSB) to address this impasse in the quickest way possible.

“ZHDA believes that if the employer is serious it will find ways and means to address this impasse,” reads part of the statement.

In the same meeting they announced the move to depart from the negotiating forum, junior doctors rejected a 60% increment offer on their On call allowances which was extended to them by Treasury describing it as an “insult”.

ZHDA further demanded that their health specific allowances be reviewed at the current inter-bank rate and will be pressing on with the on going job action.

Clearly unamused by this stunt, government in response, threatened with disciplinary action, ZHDA members who do not report to work on Monday 7, October.