Junior doctors today defied last Friday’s Labour Court ruling compelling them to report for duty in 48 hours citing that they remain incapacitated to go to work as solutions to the current health stalemate remains elusive.
On Monday morning the doctors held a meeting at Parirenyatwa Hospital where they resolved to continue with the industrial action that has gone into day 43.
“I think the 48-hour ultimatum has lapsed now, but its quiet sad and unfortunate that people remain incapacitated to go to work. It’s not in the sense that we are defying the law, we are law abiding citizens but at the same time people simply didn’t report to work because they don’t have the financial backup to go to work, so we are still at the same space, we remain incapacitated,” Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) vice president, Masimba Ndoro said.
Unlike in recent times, today’s meeting was poorly attended by the medical professionals, a sign Ndoro said was reflective of the doctors’ incapacitation to continue commuting for demonstrations against the employer.
“We are appealing to the employer to actually address this matter. Trying to buy time by addressing this as an illegal strike won’t solve anything. Sincere and faithful negotiations which guarantees us sustainable offers can actually capacitates us to go back to work,” added Ndoro.
The situation remains solemn in the country’s public health institutions as desperate patients suffer the brunt of foiled talks between doctors and government.
Efforts by this publication to get a comment from the Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo were unsuccessful as he was in a series of meetings.
Junior doctors are demanding a wage increase from the current RTGS1800 to an equivalent of 500 USD at the prevailing the interbank rate.
Government has already made a 60 percent wage increase offer which doctors rejected saying that the margin did not resonate with current inflation rate which is beyond 500 percent.