Doctors have vowed to continue with their industrial action until the government gives in to their demand that their allowances are pegged in United States dollars and paid at the prevailing interbank exchange rate on the pay of payment.
The doctors under the umbrella of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) made the comments soon after turning down the 100% on call allowance increase in local currency that was announce by the government last week.
ZHDA acting president, Masimba Ndoro, said the offer doctors would accept was an adjustment of the on-call allowance and the rating of their allowances to match the current interbank exchange rates.
“The constituencies I represent are requesting an adjustment on our on-call allowance that is the money we get when we work overtime; we work overtime on call and travel ungodly hours trying to serve patients. We are asking the employer to adjust the allowance. It is actually us reaching the compromise because the salary we deserve, and what we have been earnimg; every amount should be rated with the interbank exchange,” said Masimba.
He also stated that the government should also equip the hospitals with required equipments so that the doctors do their work well.
In a press statement, the ZHDA stated that they condemned hate speech and threats targeting their members saying those actions will “not deter them from continuing to advocate for a well-trained and motivated health force and adequately resourced hospitals”.
They also said ZHDA is apolitical and its members remain committed to medical professionalism and to promoting an environment that builds capacity, innovation and offers the best possible care to the patients hence they urged the government not to politicize them as it is counter-reproductive.
Today marks the 50th day of the doctors’ strike, which started on September 3, citing incapacitation and has resulted in the deterioration of health situation in Zimbabwe, leaving the ordinary public who cannot afford going for private doctors bearing the brunt of their actions.