Business as usual at MPH
FOLLOWING the Health Services Board (HSB)’s decision on Monday to suspend 530 junior doctors who had embarked on an illegal monthlong strike, it was business as usual at Mutare Provincial Hospital.
The striking junior doctors were suspended without pay and benefits and it was with immediate effect. They were suspended for 14 days to pave way for investigations into allegations of violating labour regulations after a labour court ruled recently that the industrial action was illegal.
In an interview recently, Manicaland Provincial medical director, Dr Patron Mafaune said doctors in the province were carrying out their duties as normal and were not affected by the strike developments occurring across the country.
“We were not at all affected by the industrial strike that was going on across the country because in Manicaland we do not have junior doctors. Our doctors are ever present to attend to cases and that is commendable,” said Dr Mafaune.
Since early December, junior doctors at public health institutions across the country went on an industrial strike citing several challenges which include unsatisfactory working conditions, low salaries and lack of basic medicines and equipment.
Patients were being attended to in time and medical personnel were carrying out their duties without any hitches as usual when The Manica Post visited Mutare Provincial Hospital this week.
Unlike other public hospitals in the country where the out-patients departments had been closed due to the junior doctors’ strike, the local institution’s out-patients department was open for business all along.
A good number of patients could be seen entering and leaving after receiving the medical help they sought.
A Mutasa woman, Vimbai Makedenge who had come to the hospital with her infant grandchild commended the Manicaland medical personnel for not downing their tools and saving her grand-daughter’s life. She said she was satisfied with the service delivery at the public hospital as she had not expected to be attended to at all due to the ongoing strike.
“She fell down from a tree while playing and I was so frightened thinking that she might not survive it since we knew that doctors were on strike. I was however surprised when we got here and she was immediately attended to,” said Makedenge.