Doc­tors ne­go­ti­ate in bad faith: Govt

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

VP Chi­wenga said, Govern­ment notes with con­cern the po­lit­i­cal over­tones which the labour is­sue has now as­sumed, in­clud­ing at­tempts by the strik­ing doc­tors to ap­peal to con­stituen­cies which have noth­ing to do with health de­liv­ery or their em­ploy­ment con­tracts.

“In the mean­time, Govern­ment will not al­low any demon­stra­tions at med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties whose pur­pose is to treat pa­tients and en­sure their full re­cov­ery,” he said.

The Act­ing Pres­i­dent said mind­ful of the re­cent Labour Court judge­ment which ruled the in­dus­trial ac­tion un­law­ful and in the in­ter­est of the pa­tients who stand af­fected by the un­law­ful ac­tion by strik­ing doc­tors, Govern­ment has now de­cided to ur­gently ex­plore other ways of en­sur­ing that this es­sen­tial health ser­vice is sta­bilised while more last­ing mea­sures are put in place to nor­malise the sit­u­a­tion.

He said Govern­ment will be mak­ing fur­ther rec­om­men­da­tions in the com­ing days and would con­tinue to im­port es­sen­tial medicines and ac­ces­sories vi­tal to health de­liv­ery to en­sure ef­fec­tive health ser­vices to its peo­ple.

Cde Chi­wenga said con­di­tions of ser­vice for all civil ser­vants would be re­viewed later this year in line with bud­getary al­lo­ca­tions but ruled out pay­ing of salaries in for­eign cur­rency

The Act­ing Pres­i­dent said Govern­ment will ful­fil all the com­mit­ments it has made to all health work­ers who con­tinue to serve the na­tion and has also made an un­der­tak­ing to re­view con­di­tions for all work­ers in the Pub­lic Ser­vice Sec­tor within the sec­ond quar­ter of this year con­sis­tent with the na­tional bud­get cy­cle.

“For the avoid­ance of doubt, Govern­ment will not re­mu­ner­ate any of its work­force in United States dol­lars, a po­si­tion it made very clear to the strik­ing doc­tors. Govern­ment does not print United States dol­lars. The hard earned for­eign cur­rency will be com­mit­ted to, among oth­ers ar­eas im­port­ing es­sen­tial medicines for use in hos­pi­tals and clin­ics as well as to fa­cil­i­tate the re­cov­ery of the econ­omy, in line with the Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme,” said Cde Chi­wenga.

Act­ing Pres­i­dent Chi­wenga said Govern­ment, in line with the Court order, had asked the Health Ser­vices Board to take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion against the strik­ing doc­tors whose con­duct has been de­clared un­law­ful and is con­trary to the Hip­po­cratic Oath ethic and in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices.

“Fur­ther the Oath warns that with­out it ‘the doc­tor is a skilled tech­ni­cian or labourer whose knowl­edge fits him for an oc­cu­pa­tion but not a pro­fes­sion’. In­ter­na­tional best prac­tices which gov­ern doc­tors and in­terns pro­vides that doc­tors should not aban­don pa­tients and posts ; and that they should bring for­ward their griev­ances while mak­ing sure loss of life or un­nec­es­sary pain and suf­fer­ing is avoided. By go­ing against the Hip­po­cratic Oath, the strik­ing doc­tors have shown their cal­lous in­sen­si­tiv­ity to hu­man life pain and suf­fer­ing,” he said.

The Act­ing Pres­i­dent thanked se­nior doc­tors who have kept ser­vices go­ing, doc­tors in pri­vate prac­tice, in pri­vate health in­sti­tu­tions, re­tirees, ex­pa­tri­ates, for­eign based and trained Zim­bab­weans for of­fer­ing their ser­vices in the in­ter­est of pa­tients.

Mean­while, the Min­istry of Information , Pub­lic­ity and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices on Tues­day evening an­nounced that Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa was cut­ting short his leave to deal with the doc­tors’ cri­sis.

“I have cut short my leave to be in im­me­di­ate and ac­tive con­sul­ta­tion with the Act­ing Pres­i­dent in re­solv­ing the sit­u­a­tion in the Health Sec­tor” said Pres­i­dent ED Mnan­gagwa,” read the tweet. — @Aux­il­iaK.

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