Specialist doctors on Tuesday gave a notice of intent to withdraw from offering services, with past discussions the physicians had with the Ministry of Health and the Health Services Board (HSB) failing to solution to challenges facing the health practitioners.
Physicians are complaining about hospitals lacking appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), the slow process in testing COVID-19 among the patients, equipment and drugs shortages and also salaries according to the notice from the Zimbabwe Senior Hospitals Doctors Association.
“Our salaries as paid in the Zimbabwe dollar cannot sustain us anymore. The Zimbabwe dollar is so volatile and subject to inflationary pressures that make it unpredictable,” the notice reads.
“Our members who are officially employed by the University of Zimbabwe continue to offer services in hospitals, but they are not being paid their clinical allowances. We have presented this issue to your office, but it remains an unresolved issue with no payment being done.”
Doctors are demanding the government to make Covid19 testing readily available and provide adequate PPEs in hospitals. The doctors also want the Health Ministry to provide Provide drugs, sundries, and equipment in hospitals.
“Pay us in the USD which is a stable currency which carries 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,” the notice reads.
“Pay the clinical allowance that is due to University of Zimbabwe clinicians who are offering services in tertiary hospitals.”
“As doctors, we need our other health delivery colleagues present to be able to function well. They have not been able to report for duties in line with grievances that they have presented to yourselves. The employer should solve their incapacitation so that we can be able to resume normal services ethically and professionally. We need nurses, radiographers, pharmacists, and all others to deliver a reasonable service,” the notice goes on.
Doctors threaten to withdraw service at a time when confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to 1,362.
Besides doctors withdrawal of services, the government is also faced with a potential demonstration slated for 31 July 2020.