Zupco buses, free lunches for junior doctors

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By Thandiwe Garusa

GOVERNMENT says it is in the process of organising ZUPCO buses to ferry junior doctors to and from work in attempts to ease their transport challenges.

Speaking at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare Tuesday, Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said government would also identify some flats around different public health institutions to accommodate the medical staff.

Hundreds of Zimbabwean junior doctors have embarked on a two-month strike action that has crippled services within major hospitals resulting in many avoidable deaths.

Moyo said government has moved to ensure the working environment was conducive for its health personnel and was also in the process of availing some medicines for use within its health institutions.

He added, “…Government is in the process of identifying accommodation flats which they will refurbish to make sure they are comfortable for junior doctors to be able to live in and transport will be provided.

“Zupco buses will be running from those flats to the health institutions and while they (doctors) be at work, we have said that they will be given food for free.

“They will not have to buy food when they are on duty.

“They will be given a meal and be able to work harder and provide a good service.

“We are doing this to make the lives of doctors and health workers much more easy, work conditions have to be appropriate.”

However, the apparent government bid to throw trinkets in the direction of its important health personnel will likely not move the doctors anyhow, as they have insisted on remuneration that will allow them to live decent lives and continue coming to work.

Striking doctors recently rejected a 100 percent increase in their allowances insisting the move was far from their demands for wages pegged at prevailing US dollar interbank rates from which Zimbabwean businesses have priced their commodities.

Government says it has no means to meet the demands by the doctors.