Medical doctors fired yesterday for declaring incapacitation have scoffed at the Cabinet’s decision saying the State would soon have to negotiate with them as they need people to fill the vacancies that have been created.
Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) said the firing was a non-event as they had endured months without salaries. Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the dismissal of 77 doctors at a Cabinet briefing in the capital last night.
ZHDA spokesperson Tapiwa Mungofa said: “We are now looking for jobs like any other unemployed citizens as we wait for the employer to come on their right senses and come back to us for negotiations, because they can’t create other doctors.”
Government fired the doctors after they absconded hearings by their employer, Health Services Board (HSB) on why they had not returned to work after the Labour Court ruled their actions illegal.
ZHDA secretary general Tawanda Zvakada said the dismissals were inconsequential.
“We are not moved by this firing as it does not capacitate us. We were already fired when they gave us worthless salaries,” Zvakada said.
HSB chairman Paulinus Sikosana was mum on what his institution would do next.
“On this one, I refer you to the secretary for Health, who superintends over service delivery,” Sikosana said.
The situation in public hospitals remains dire as the doctors action has entered day 64, with no solution in sight.
Analysts believe the government would sooner or later reverse its decision to fire doctors as it does not have anywhere to recruit from or the capacity to offer expatriates consumerate salaries.
Junior doctors started their industrial action on 3 September citing incapacitation and they have dismissed the government’s offer to increase their salaries insisting that they want their salaries to be pegged at the prevailing interbank rate.
By Rutendo Bamu