Zim doctors give govt three-week ultimatum to address wage demands

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By Costa Nkomo

ZIMBABWEAN doctors have given their employer a three-week grace period to address their salary grievances short of which they will withdraw their labour.

This they said through a press statement Wednesday by their umbrella Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA).

In its demands addressed to the chairperson of the Health Services Board (HSB) and copied to the Health Minister Obadiah Moyo, the crucial medical staff wants its employer to match doctors’ wages with the prevailing US dollar interbank rate of $1:8.7 RTGS.

“We hereby give notice of total incapacitation with immediate effect, giving the employer a grace period of three (3) weeks upon receipt of this letter to present practical solutions to our financial crises,” said the doctors’ group.

“We request that the employer adjusts our earnings according to the inter-market bank rate which currently sits at 8.7.”

Should government fail to meet their demands, ZHDA president Peter Magombeyi later told that “we stay at home.”

In his press statement, Magombeyi said, “Our living conditions have become a health hazard and mental depressant to both us and patients.

“Negotiations between government and the Health Apex have been slothful if anything in addressing our concerns.”

The past months have seen the country’s health staff embark on intermittent strike actions while trying to press for improved wages and working conditions.

Government has, in nearly all the cases, failed to meet the demands while sticking to many unfulfilled promises.

Zimbabweans are up in arms with their leaders for apparently abandoning the country’s health system to seek better health facilities abroad.

The country’s poor health delivery system coupled with low wages to professionals has seen the flight of many experienced health staff to better paying destinations such as Namibia.