Doctors at some hospitals including Mpilo Central Hospital yesterday went on strike defying Minister of Health Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa’s warning against taking industrial action.
When contacted by The Chronicle for comment, Dr Mxolisi Ngwenya, the spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), said the strike is national although doctors reported for duty at the United Bulawayo Hospitals yesterday. ZHDA petitioned Government on February 5 this year and gave it 21 days to address a number of grievances that include the issue of allowances, vehicles and shortage of medicines and equipment in hospitals.
In a letter to Mpilo Central Hospital’s clinical director, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya, the doctors said they are going on strike until Government addresses their concerns. Part of the letter reads:
This serves as a notice that with effect from March 1 we will be unable to discharge our normal duties until such a time the ministry decides to prioritise our people’s health. Our locums remain unpaid since October 2017 and we remain severely understaffed. There are no essential drugs and fluids and patients are dying unnecessarily. There has been no written response from you to address this and no tangible efforts. Working hours remain ill-defined and at the whim of the admin and our allowances have not been graded as per regional standards, a concern we raised in our letter dated February 5.