Crippling Doctors’ Strike Imminent Over Gvnt Failure To Honor Promises



The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has written to the Health Services Board, expressing anxiety over the government’s failure to fulfil its promises.

The ZHDA agreed with the government in January on issues to improve the doctors’ working conditions, through the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), but to date, very few things have been fulfilled.

The letter, which is in the hands of a local publication and written by ZHDA secretary-general Mthabisi Bhebhe reads in part:

“Most of the matters in the CBA have not been fully implemented as agreed upon. This has created an impression that the ministry has entirely abandoned its workers and is failing in its duty to honour legally binding agreements.

… Hospitals remain in a dire state with no basic medical supplies. Most basic and lifesaving medicines remain unavailable and there has not been any form of communication on what the ministry is doing to address this challenge.

It has been observed with grave concern, cases of fatally ill patients being deprived of lifesaving services because the diagnostic and theatre equipment is not fully functional.

… Informed and guided by the CBA, which is a legally enforceable document, we request the ministry to respond to why it has willingly opted to delay and violate this particular area of the agreement.

We were given assurance that the ministry had intervened to improve transport to work by procuring fuel for doctors who are working in government hospitals. In good faith, we believed it was the case.

However, facts on the ground are that there has not been any intervention or improvement in this regard. Fuel is now expensive, in short supply and doctors continue sleeping in fuel queues.”


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