WASHINGTON D.C. —
Junior doctors have refuted claims that they have reached an agreement with the Ministry of Health over revised contracts.
A statement attributed to Deputy Health Minister Aldrian Musiiwa over the weekend said the two sides have resolved their differences and the doctors were expected to go back to work.
But Dr. Martin Mlilo, who is one of the striking doctors, said the Friday meeting with state representatives did not produce any instant results because the doctors’ representatives only met with medical directors that were representing the Health Service Board.
“So far we have spoken with the doctors on the ground and they are saying there is nothing like that, there was no agreement that was reached,” Dr. Mlilo said.
The junior doctors were supposed to sign the adjusted contracts on March 1st but refused to do so claiming that the employment contracts violated their rights.
The strike by the junior doctors has resulted in the closure of the country’s two main referrals Harare Central and Mpilo Central hospitals’ outpatients departments. There was no comment from the Ministry of Health about the latest developments.
Dr. Mlilo says the junior doctors will only go back to work when their grievances are met.
“What the junior doctors are demanding include open practice certificate to enable them to work in private hospitals and open their surgeries after the expiry of their two-year contracts with the government.”
Dr. Mlilo added that the doctors also want to be allowed to belong to unions and enter into collective bargaining, among other issues.