Doctors are planning to reduce working hours in protest after the Salary Services Bureau (SSB) cut overtime allowances for doctors. Doctors were reportedly notified by the Ministry of Health and Child Care that the allowances will now be paid only to doctors who work while they are on leave.
A doctor who spoke to The Chronicle on condition of anonymity said that overtime allowances are pegged at $7 per hour during week days and $10 an hour during weekends. Normal working hours for doctors are from 8AM to 4PM. Mpilo Central Hospital Clinical Director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya confirmed that the Salary Services Bureau (SSB) changed the conditions to claim overtime last week and said that doctors are meeting to map the way forward. Said Dr Ngwenya:
We did have a problem last week when the SSB made it clear that doctors would no longer get over time allowances unless they work during official leave days. Doctors were so disgruntled and I had to meet them to discuss the way forward. The situation is normal. Although they haven’t been paid overtime, they are coming to work. I have personally written a letter to the SSB on behalf of the doctors and I hope that the response will be in their favour.
Contacted for comment, Zimbabwe Medical Association secretary general Dr Shingi Bopoto said he was not aware of such a development.