On Sunday, officials from the Health Services Board (HSB) and the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) met in a bid to end the crippling month-long doctors’ strike.
HSB vice chair, Auxillia Chideme-Munodawafa and Zima president Francis Chiwora emerged from the meeting to tell the media that the government was prepared to reverse its 14-day suspensions imposed on striking medical practitioners in the interest of progress. Chideme- Munodawafa had this to say,
The government, through the same communication, committed itself to allow duty exempt importation of vehicles meant for doctors and other health workers under the vehicle loan scheme, further committing itself to disburse the outstanding $6 million by December 31, 2018 (today).
The government also through the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) has started receiving critical medicines and accessories needed for better health delivery in the country, with distribution being made to public hospitals.
The meeting further noted and was satisfied that NatPharm was mindful of and fulfilling its obligation to the public by ensuring safe medicines are availed to hospitals and clinics.
The meeting was concerned that the junior doctors had not complied with the court ruling, thus putting themselves on the wrong side of the law. Both parties agreed that it was important for the junior doctors to return to lawful conduct by promptly resuming work in order to break the current impasse.
If they return to work, as we have been urging them from day one, then this will be considered (in disciplinary processes). That is why you see the Zima taskforce here, it’s efforts from both sides to resolve the issue.