The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has released a statement accusing Minister of Health and Child Care David Parirenyatwa of not addressing the reasons behind the doctors’ strike. The doctors vowed not to return to work until the government addresses the issue of inadequate drugs and supplies. The doctors also trashed the government’s offer of a 50 percent increase in on-call allowances saying “50 percent of nothing is still nothing.”
We publish the Statement in full below,
ZHDA PRESS STATEMENT ON DOCTORS STRIKE
20 MARCH 2018
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association wishes to advise members of the press, stakeholders and its members of the following developments on the strike by the government hospital doctors, which has entered its 20th day today.
The ZHDA would like to set the record straight that what was announced by the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa on state TV in the evening of 19th March 2018 is totally untrue. No agreement whatsoever has been reached and Zimbabwean government hospital doctors are still on strike It is with great sadness that we have to announce to the entire population of Zimbabwe that they have been blatantly lied to on state TV. The ZHDA is yet to ﬁnd out what such untruths, of such immense proportions, are meant to achieve.
We as the ZHDA have been waiting patiently for the Minister and his team to come to the negotiating table so that a solution can be found for this impasse so that doctors can return to work and avoidable mortality and morbidity can be mitigated. We are. however, disappointed by this latest development as it shows that the Minister and his team are not at all committed to these negotiations and whatever they bring to the negotiating table is being brought about in bad faith. This is really an unfortunate turn of events as the authority tasked with guaranteeing the healthcare of Zimbabweans seems to be completely oblivious to the magnitude of the problem at hand.
Doctors have clearly stated their demands and made them known to the Minister. Nothing at all has materialized and no tangible effort whatsoever has been made to at least show commitment to addressing these issues. Instead, all we have seen hitherto is a rampant media propaganda campaign by the authorities, even to the extent of abusing state media to make a totally false announcement to the entire nation of Zimbabwe. This shows us that the health of the population is not a priority of the Minister of health at the present moment.
How can the Minister say a resolution has been found when none of the issues that led to the strike have been addressed? Even if doctors were to buy into the propaganda and return to
work, they would be equally culpable of hoodwinking the population into believing that the hospitals are now fully operational.
There are still no drugs in the hospital, even in his untruth, this minister totally omitted to mention anything about what he has done to address the lack of drugs and equipment in the hospitals. So what would the doctors be returning to work for? To stare at patients and watch as the suffering and dying continue?
In his untrue statement, the Minister mentions nothing about what he has done to fulﬁll his 2014 promise of raising the on-call allowance to $10/hr. Instead, he goes on about 50% increments. 50% of NOTHING is nothing! Even the public would be suspicious of doctors who agree to such a dubious offer!
We would like to urge the responsible minister to apologise to the people of Zimbabwe, come to the negotiating table and negotiate in good faith, for the good of the whole nation. Until then, Zimbabwean government hospital doctors remain on strike will not be going to work.
ZHDA INFORMATION DEPARTMENT