By Leopold Munhende
HEALTH Minister Obadiah Moyo is lying and giving inflated figures on doctors said to be at work and those on strike, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting vice president Dean Ndoro has said.
Ndoro was speaking on the sidelines of a Harare march to parliament by senior doctors Wednesday to petition authorities to urgently address the country’s health delivery crisis that has seen doctors go on a three-month long strike action over poor wages and working conditions.
“The figure he (Moyo) gave you at the post-cabinet media briefing is not true. Ofcourse we were around 1 200 doctors but more than half that figure are not going to work.
“You should do more to question him whenever he shares such inflated numbers,” said Ndoro.
Following the refusal by junior doctors to end their prolonged strike, government has moved to fire 448 of the critical hospital staff after disciplinary proceedings were instituted by authorities in the medical practitioners’ absence.
Doctors feel government was trying to create impressions the strike by its hospital workforce was being carried out by a few.
Said Ndoro, “Do you think hospitals would be so incapacitated if only 400 out of the 1 200 failed to turn up for work?
“Provincial hospitals are hardest hit; there are barely five doctors on call at any given time.”
The human resource crisis in local hospitals has seen hospitals and maternity wards continue to turn away patients with some expectant mothers turning to backdoor deliveries under unhygienic conditions in high-density areas.
The country’s defiant medical staff has vowed not to return to work until government addresses it wage demands.
Government insists it has no financial resources to pay US dollar or Zim-dollar interbank pegged wages as was being demanded by its workforce.