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Cutting our salaries will not help: Doctors

By Daniel Chigundu

Junior doctors who are currently on industrial action demanding a salary review have warned the government against cutting their salaries adding that the move will not help to solve their incapacitation issues.

The doctors say they are not able to come to work because they have been incapacitated by the economic situation obtaining in the country.

It has been about 30 days now since they (doctors) declared the incapacitation and government this week responded by threating to cut their salaries for not going to work.

However, during their demonstration which was being used as a reminder to the Health Services Board (HSB), the doctors warned the government that the move will not work.

“Am sure you heard that salaries are going to be cut, but it further incapacitates us and we are simply reminding the employer and urging him that cutting our salaries is not the way forward.

“It’s not the solution but they should come up with tangible offers on the negotiation table which capacitates us to move forward,” said Doctor Masimba Ndoro.

Government has been reluctant to review salaries of the health workers arguing that there are no resources even though the finance minister has been bragging about a surplus.

The doctors also revealed that they are going to restructure their Apex Council which they are accusing of representing them in bad faith.

“We want to elect a new person for the Apex council, in fact, we wanted to exit it but through various consultations we have gathered that it’s a bit tricky to exit at the moment as we do not have an alternative negotiation platform and so as an alternative we want to restructure it,” said the doctors.

In an interview at Parirenyatwa Hospital one of the many patients there that are awaiting treatment, Mercy Mutanda who is suffering from anal cancer pleaded with the government to quickly solve their impasse with the doctors adding that the situation is making life difficult.

“Currently we are not being treated, I am supposed to be undergoing chemotherapy and that requires that I be admitted in the hospital ward, but now ward is closed because the nurses told me there are no doctors to attend to me.

“My plea is for the situation to change in Zimbabwe government must give doctors the money that will enable them to come to work and d their work, this situation is unbearable.

“So we are just sitting here and waiting here, but I am in pain and I am relying on morphine to ease that pain,” she said.

It, however, remains to be seen what will happen as senior doctors are reportedly going to join the industrial action in a few days times.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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