The government is set to fire a third of doctors who work in public health institutions, a total of 516 out of the 1 601 employed by the Health Services Board (HSB).
The doctors face dismissal from the public service this month as the government continues to hold disciplinary hearings for all doctors who ignored a Labour Court ruling to return to work within 48 hours.
On Friday, the HSB dismissed 210 doctors after they were found guilty in absentia of absenting themselves from work without leave or reasonable cause.
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Doctors at public health institutions have not been reporting for duty for over two months citing incapacitation.
In 1996, the government fired doctors and nurses, leaving the four central hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo operating on a skeleton staff composed of consultants, very senior nursing staff, students and medics from the defence forces.
The government had plans to hire doctors from the United Kingdom to replace those who had been fired from the service. Meanwhile, the law at the time allowed civil servants to re-apply if they so wished within 30 days from date of dismissal.