By Robert Tapfumaneyi
FIRED Zimbabwean doctors have slammed government for apparent display of negative energy into processes leading to their dismissal while failing to redirect the same towards fixing the country’s ailing health system.
A more than two-month long wage impasse between government and public service hospital doctors culminated in the unprecedented dismissal of 211 of them.
This followed continued refusal by the critical hospital staff to return to work claiming they were financially incapacitated to continue reporting for duty.
Doctors want their wages paid in the much stable US dollar currency or the same wages paid in local currency but pegged according to prevailing intermarket bank rates that have tended to be the basis for pricing of goods and services in the country.
Zimbabwean doctors feel short-changed by their employer who has responded with the drastic action.
Speaking through their representative Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors Association (ZHDA), doctors said they have not abandoned dialogue but were dismayed by government’s lack of good faith in dispensing with probably the worst public service job action since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over the country two years ago.
The doctors said their dismissal would neither capacitate the remaining workers nor improve service delivery.
“We continue to seek dialogue to resolve this impasse and restore services,” ZHDA said in a statement Friday.
“However, we have been shocked and dismayed at the decision taken by the employer to dismiss the junior doctors who have clearly stated their desire to come to work but are incapacitated.
“Robust dialogue in good faith should take place with key stakeholders to help direct the capacitation of the workers and the public health institution.
“We wish the same zeal and energy being displayed in punishing doctors could have been applied to see to the welfare of beleaguered hospitals and workers.”
According to ZHDA, senior doctors who have remained manning hospitals were still incapacitated while drugs and equipment were still inadequate.
“No meaningful service is being offered at central hospitals,” said the doctors welfare group.
“The salary adjustment being offered by the government has long since been eroded by inflation.
“The government has also promised to deliver drugs and equipment, but currently nothing tangible has materialised.”