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Senior Doctors Give Govt Ultimatum Over Lack Of Covid-19 Test Kits

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi  


ZIMBABWE senior hospital doctors have given the government 14 days to address their grievances or they will withdraw their services.

The doctors said after the expiry of the ultimatum, they will no longer be able to continue to report for work.

In a notice of intent by the Zimbabwe Senior Hospitals Doctors Association (ZSHDA) said the government must make Covid-19 testing readily available in all hospitals so that they can be able to offer seamless services.

The letter is addressed to the acting Health Minister Amon Murwira, the  Health Service Board (HSB), and Hospital Clinical Directors.

“Covid-19 testing of hospital inpatients remains erratic and the results often take days to come out,” said the doctors.

“Consequently, we are inundated with patients whom we admit, and who endure an inordinately long wait for Covid-19 results and at times cannot access some services until the results are out.

“This can lead to poorer outcomes for patients and even unnecessary deaths. We want to be able to run our theaters and other special services seamlessly and availing testing and timeous results are paramount,” the doctors said.

“Pay us in the USD which is a stable currency which predictable buying power, we do not want to be paid in the Zimbabwe dollar again. Our payment in USD should be benchmarked to our October 2018 salaries that were in USD.

“Pay the clinical allowances that are due to the University of Zimbabwe Clinicians who are offering services in tertiary hospitals.”

Meanwhile, in a solidarity move with other health workers, the specialist doctors want other coworkers grievances addressed.

“We need our other health delivery colleagues present to be able to function. They have not been able to report for duties in line with grievances that they presented to yourselves. The employer should solve their incapacitation so that we can be able to resume normal service ethically and professionally.”

“We need nurses, radiographers, pharmacists, and all others to deliver a reasonable service. Little attention has been paid to the issues of making sure drugs, sundries and equipment are available in adequate stocks,” the doctors said.