The Health Service Board (HSB) has announced an agreement with treasury for a cost of living allowance adjustment to mark the end of a countrywide strike by doctors that kick started yesterday.
According to the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), doctors from government hospitals were incapacitated to report for duty due to meagre salaries and allowances they receive from government.
In an interview with 263Chat, HSB chairperson Dr Paulinus Sikhosana said negotiations are continuing to ensure that vulnerable members of the public do not suffer.
“We had an agreement with them as the Health Apex committee on the adjustment on the cost of living. The collective agreement, however, had conditionalities where doctors said they are not satisfied and we have since sent a request to Treasury which has been accepted,” said Dr Sikhosana.
“We have already submitted the key scale salary document to Treasury that they provide for an adjustment and it has concurred saying resources are available to cater for the adjustments presented in the request,” Dr Sikhosana
According to Dr Sikhosana, HSB has also noted the request by doctors to have their cost of living allowances adjusted for the last quarter of the year.
“That will depend on the ability of the economy and treasury to absorb the costs. So in the long term depending on the performance of the economy the government has the intention to ensure all civil servants are able to have remuneration that will sustain in this country. The Treasury is still looking at some of the allowances that were proposed hence the whole process is still under negotiation,” added Dr Sikhosana.
The doctors want salaries to be pegged to the prevailing foreign exchange interbank rates.