Striking Zimbabwean doctors say “it defies all common sense” that some of their colleagues have been dismissed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government at a time when millions of people can no longer access state medical facilities.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association said the Health Service Board (HSB) which hires doctors on behalf of the government, misfired when it dismissed 77 striking doctors on Tuesday.
“HSB has succeeded in shooting themselves on the foot. Whilst the Zimbabwean citizens and the government of Zimbabwe have entrusted them with a simple mandate of resolving the crisis in our healthcare system, they have shaken the nation by firing the very few doctors in the country.
“This shocking decision … shows clearly that they don’t care about the suffering masses of our people and the ordinary citizens who rely on government hospitals for healthcare … Once again we reiterate that ZHDA and its entire membership will not be intimidated or deterred in asking for a livable wage and in doing so we maintain that we have not committee any crime by being broke.”
The doctors say they will hold a meeting at Parirenyatwa Hospital on Wednesday to discuss the dismissal of the doctors and related issues.
“We eagerly await to see how this move which defies all common sense will serve as a solution to the already strained health care system. Nothing has been done to improve the welfare of doctors and hospitals’ working environments therefore doctors nationwide remain incapacitated.”
The doctors went on strike September 3 calling for a review of their salaries and on-call allowances.
Dr. Paulinus Sikosana, chairperson of the Health Service Board, told VOA Zimbabwe Service that the firing of the doctors was done as per Zimbabwean labor laws.
Some striking junior, middle level and senior doctors refused to attend hearing convened by the ministry of health, which subsequently sent home some of the doctors who were supposed to appear before a disciplinary committee.