Senior Doctors Join Juniors, Declare Incapacitation

Senior doctors in the country’s health delivery system have also taken the junior doctors route and declared incapacitation.

The declaration will see the country’s healthy delivery system that has been in the intensive care unit coming down to total shutdown.

In a press statement, the doctors emphasized that they are not on strike but they are incapacitated due to government’s failure to give them reasonable salary adjustments.

This comes on the backdrop of junior doctors having taken the same route a few months ago resulting in more than 500 doctors receiving dismissal letters.

“We have watched over the past few months as the situation in our hospitals continues to deteriorate. In March this year the situation in hospitals deteriorated to the point where there were no bandages, gloves and syringes available, forcing senior doctors to highlight the dire situation publicly,” read the statement.

“The Ministry of Health and Child Care assured us that the situation was due to shortcomings at hospital management level. The matter also caught the attention of His Excellency who generously availed hard-earned taxpayers’ money to buy drugs and equipment. We continued to work with the little we had, while patiently waiting for the promised equipment,”

Doctors also added that there was noise and ribbon cutting and images of warehouses full of drugs yet on the ground there is nothing.

“Out of an inventory list of 2000 items, only about 60 had been purchased. The Indian consignment was a great disappointment. The vast majority of the equipment which was released was completely unusable,” read the statement.

The doctors also accused the technicians who made noise to commission equipment that arrived only to find out that it was second hand, refurbished equipment which is no longer being manufactured by the parent company (details available).

“The hospitals continue to be poorly stocked and remain a death trap, even with the presence of the hard-working, highly specialized workforce that Zimbabwe has, “read that statement.

Contrary to statements made on 26 November at the Cabinet briefing, over the past two months senior doctors have continued to offer emergency services at the various public sector hospitals. In response, the employer unlawfully withheld their salaries.

“As we speak, disciplinary letters are being handed out to senior doctors, including those who have been doing their best to save lives in the hostile public sector. The authorities are so vindictive that they went to theatre to hand a letter to a doctor who was finishing up an emergency operation. For the record, senior doctors will not be re-applying to come back to work. We do not accept that one can be dismissed for being incapacitated to come to work in an unsafe environment with nothing to use,” read the statement.

In a telephone interview with the spokesperson for senior doctors, Dr Shingai Nyaguse confirmed that few senior doctors have been summoned to appear before disciplinary hearings.

“The doctors have received summons to appear for disciplinary hearings,” he said.

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