Zimbabwe’s striking junior doctors look to resume work

Zimbabwe’s public hospital junior doctors who have been on strike over better salaries and working conditions, remain hopeful that the government will finally engage them for meaningful dialogue to end a four-month impasse between both parties.

Junior doctors downed their tools in September 2019, demanding that their salaries be pegged in US dollars, better working conditions and for the government to provide the country’s hospitals with better medical infrastructure.

In response to the doctors’ demands, government decided to dismiss over 400 professionals with only a paltry 46 of them, allowed to resume duty.

However, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) which has spearheaded the crippling job action announced that it is now time both government and the striking staff to bury the hatchet and engage in fruitful discussions.

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“2020 is the year that as the ZHDA, we are hopeful that a solution will be finally found through dialogue and continuous engagement with all interested stakeholders,” according to the ZHDA.

“The ZHDA remains committed to advocating for the improvement of conditions of services and for the best treatment outcomes for our patients. We are committed to promote dialogue between medical professionals and policy makers.

Last month, the junior doctors also rejected an offer made by billionaire businessman and Econet founder, Strive Masiyiwa to give each doctor a $5 000 monthly incentive, transportation and lunch for six months. The incentive was being availed through Masiwa’s philanthropic organisation, the Highlife Foundation.

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The Zimbabwean government has however, since indicated that it will be recruiting doctors from China and Cuba to fill the vacuum left by the striking doctors.

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