Doctors threaten to down tools again

Doctors are threatening to down tools again, only a month after their three-week paralysing strike following reports that some hospital bosses were threatening to cut December salaries for those who participated in this industrial action.

Over 400 doctors participated in this strike on October 27 demanding a review of their salaries from the current $282 a month to $1 200. This was in addition to their housing, transport and risk allowances.

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) executive, in a statement, described the move to cut salaries as a huge disappointment considering that doctors went back to work even when their concerns had not been addressed (finalised).

“ZHDA members countrywide have been in the period between the official end of the strike and to date been constantly summoned, threatened and harassed by their station supervisors over their participation in the industrial action,” the statement said.

“At Harare Hospital specifically, one errant and ill-advised chief executive has been reportedly issuing out statements and notices to doctors that their salaries for December 2014 will be reviewed downwards from the meagre basic salary of $283 by at least $100.

ZHDA strongly advises the health ministry that should this decision to cut salaries be implemented our members will not hesitate to withdraw their services,” the statement revealed.

He warned government to act and stop this move or they would not hesitate to call on another industrial strike.

ZHDA also described this as an act of utter insincerity, arrogance, implementation of wrong administrative policies and complete disregard of the negotiations between ZHDA and the ministry of Health and Child Care as of November 2014.

The association’s executive also called upon the relevant government officials to urgently act by summoning such officials in the ministry who have been associated with this move.

Doctors said the employer should utilise their energy in making sure that the administrative framework of our new allowances as per their mid-November agreement were in place.

“We will not tolerate any mishaps or any administrative boobs on our first pay cheque for 2015,” revealed the statement.

However, Health and Child Care deputy minister, Paul Chimedza said his ministry was not aware of such complaints  and as such could not comment.

“We haven’t heard of such reports yet but will try to find out what’s going on so that we will be in a position to act and give a comment. For now we cannot react to a matter which has not yet been brought before us,” he said.

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