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Doctors end strike, ‘begrudgingly’ return to work

Doctors in government hospitals have ‘begrudgingly’ ended their 40 day industrial action and have resumed work despite government`s failure to address some of their major grievances.

The medical practitioners were demanding US dollar wages, improvement in drug supply and health services at major health institutions.

In a statement, Thursday, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) announced that its striking members had decided to return to work although some of the outstanding issues were yet to be addressed.

“ZHDA is delighted to inform the membership, members of the press and public that the

Industrial action by doctors in Government hospitals has come to an end,” the statement read.

“It has been 40 straight days since doctors embarked on an industrial action citing various

grievances that were and are crippling health service delivery in public institutions”.

ZHDA said government had committed to improving the health delivery system in the country.

“The MOHCC (Ministry of Health and Child Care) has committed in writing that it will consistently improve supply of medicines, medical and surgical sundries in public health facilities.

“It was further agreed that there is going to be unfreezing of critical posts for doctors across Central, Provincial and District Hospitals,” ZHDA said.

The doctors rapped government for waiting for its employees to down tools before addressing conditions of service.

“Industrial action by doctors should not be the only language that brings about improvement in drug supply and conditions of service. Good dialogue, transparency, honesty and accountability should be incorporated to provide a platform that improves service delivery,” ZHDA said.

The doctors revealed that they are yet to receive their December salaries after government stopped payment to force them to return to work.

“Sadly, with no salary review, and frozen December salaries in this rough and ravaging economic environment, it remains a dilemma how our members will report to work daily. Indeed, poor remuneration and the current fuel shortage remain a threat that may spontaneously hinder our members from reporting to work daily and discharging quality health services to patients.

“That being said, our members have begrudgingly resumed work with effect from today (10 January),as dialogue continues,” the doctors said.

Meanwhile, teachers have given government 14 days to address their concerns before embarking on industrial action.

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