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Under-Equipped Zim doctors stop performing major surgeries

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

SENIOR public hospital doctors Monday said they will not be performing complex surgeries on patients until medical equipment is availed to them.

Senior doctors downed tools in November last year in solidarity with their junior colleagues who had gone for almost three months on strike while demanding improved wages and working conditions.

Since then, they have only been offering emergency health services.

In a statement Tuesday, SHDA said after assessing the situation in hospitals, medical specialists had agreed to just attend to urgent cases to spare suffering patients’ lives.

Critical surgeries however will not be performed due to equipment shortage, said the medical practitioners.

“The issues that caused the incapacitation remain unresolved,” they said.

“In view of the persisting shortages, relatives are expected to actively take part in the care of their loved ones through the purchase of drugs and sundries from time to time including some drugs that are ordinarily hospital based and not found in general pharmacies.

“Some complicated surgeries and other procedures requiring sophisticated equipment shall remain suspended until such a time equipment is availed.”

In a recent meeting between senior doctors’ representatives and Acting President, Constantino Chiwenga, the latter showed willingness to address their concerns.

The medical professionals are demanding that their salaries be pegged at the prevailing interbank rates, better working conditions, equipment in hospitals and removal of the hospital staff flexi hours.

“On 15 January 2020, the SHDA executive met the Acting President, His Excellency Honourable CDGN Chiwenga and deliberated on the issues bedevilling the health delivery system of the nation.

“The Acting President has expressed his commitment to a holistic approach to handling the situation.

“In a meeting of the members of the SHDA on 20 January 2020, members agreed to upscale from only offering emergency services to include the urgent cases which could not be assisted all along based on the assessments done by their executive.

“This is meant to ease the suffering of the masses who are the consumers of our services despite the lack of commitment from the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” reads part of the statement.