Full Text: Senior Doctors Express Concern Over Govt’s Lack Of Urgency In Resolving Crisis

SHDA Extraordinary Meeting Summary 25/11/19 UPDATES

1. There has been no feedback from the ministry since our meeting on the 15th of November. The lack of urgency is of great concern. 435 doctors have been dismissed so far by the government including senior registrars who happen to be members of SHDA. These colleagues had not been upgraded from JRMO ship.

2. The government has said doctors who were dismissed must reapply. Our position is they must be reinstated in a mutual agreement.

3. Concerning exams; no exams are being written in the medical schools (UZCHS and NUST) as it will mar the Zimbabwe medical degrees. Members of SHDA are going to ensure this world-renowned quality of our degree quality is not compromised.

4. A consortium of local donors met SHDA, ZHDA and AMSITZ representatives and offered a package which if agreed upon, the doctors are supposed to receive provided they are going to work. The package includes a monthly allowance, WIFI at hospitals, daily three trips by VAYA. A Save-Our-Hospitals foundation would also be set up to address hospital infrastructure issues. We are not sure if this has cabinet authority yet but was presented to the associations for buy-in first.

DISCUSSION
1. The offer from the donors is appreciated and will come in useful, especially for juniors. However, it leaves the hospitals still incapacitated. It won’t change Flexi hours or the drug and equipment situation or reinstatement of colleagues. It is a good gesture which members will accept once we have resolved outstanding issues with the government, who must do something reasonable too. There is a need to continue seeing the bigger picture. The current state of hospitals and all the responses observed so far show a coordinated attack on the medical profession and the profession must stand to uphold itself and keep its integrity. We remain incapacitated.

2. The Min of HCC is continuing to push for PPPs in government hospitals. We maintain this will endanger the vulnerable members of society who are the beneficiaries of services in government hospitals. This system must be rejected.

3. The SHDA will join with its sister organisations and organise for a march to parliament to submit a petition on the state of the health care system in the nation.

4. Retiree members of the profession need to be discussed with to see how best they can help in this situation since they may be having direct access to different offices of authority in government without red tapes.

5. A number of poor outcomes were reported as having been recorded during the ’emergency mode’ that some colleagues had embarked on. This is all because the hospitals remain unsafe for safe delivery of services.

6. It was resolved that we need to actively engage colleagues in the private sector because we are facing a threat to the entire profession, both public and private. Doctors in private practice are to be discussed with so that they can withdraw their service in protest against government decision to leave public hospitals to lie to waste. This will, unfortunately, lead to a complete shutdown of services which is regrettable. More details will be availed on the logistics as we engage our colleagues

7. Members are advised to keep a social media presence to stand and uphold the profession against social media attacks that have been seen. They are to comment platforms to support the profession and help educate the general public on the current situation.

8. Members agreed not to reapply as suggested because they were never on strike, just incapacitated. The members agreed not to worry since they are just not on a salary like their counterparts.

9. The SHDA members who were present have agreed for a total withdrawal of services in government until the 435 doctors who have been fired are reinstated and their incapacitation is addressed.

President Dr Nyaguse-Chiurunge, Vice President Mr Makota, Secretary General Mr Musara
Treasurer Mr Wazara, Committee Members Dr Dube,Dr Gutu, Dr Gidiri, Dr Jira.

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