Specialist doctors have withdrawn their services citing difficulties in working without adequate personal protective equipment, incapacitation and continued exposure to patients without COVID-19 test results.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Senior Doctors Association said they are being forced to work without personal protective equipment exposing them to the risk of infection.
“The hospitals are having serious challenges in procuring and providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and as such we are unfairly exposed to Covid-19,” noted ZSDA.
The doctors bemoaned erratic Covid-19 testing of hospital patients with results for tested patients taking days to come.
“Consequently, we are inundated with patients whom we admit, and who endure an inordinately long wait for COVID-19 results, and at times cannot access some services until the result is out,” said the doctors.
Health care workers nationwide have always complained of exposure to COVID-19 risk due to inadequate PPE.
“Little attention has been paid to the issue of making sure drugs, sundries and equipment are made available in adequate stocks. We note with concern allegations of massive fraud in the procurement of PPE, drugs, and sundries, amounts which would have made a life-changing difference to institutions,” the doctors said.
“Faced with this scenario as doctors we feel the only reasonable solution is to be paid in United States Dollars (USD). The government has the template of our previous salaries as of 1 October 2018 when we were paid in US dollars. As such, we urge the ministry to reconvene the Bipartite negotiating forum so that these issues can be discussed,” said the doctors.
The doctors also urged the government to pay clinical allowance that is due to University of Zimbabwe clinicians who are offering services in tertiary hospitals.