(Xinhua) -- Striking Zimbabwean junior
doctors at public hospitals on Friday urged the government to
reconsider its move to suspend them from work for embarking on
an illegal one-month strike.
The doctors said they were
ready to resume work once their grievances had been addressed
and bemoaned the move taken by government to close dialogue to
resolve the impasse.
"We hope the Presidium will find a lasting solution to the
current impasse for the benefit of our nation.
"We are ready to offer our services once our grievances have
been addressed," the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA)
said in a statement.
The doctors’ statement came after Vice President Constantino
Chiwenga on Thursday criticized the doctors for "gambling with
Chiwenga was last week appointed by President Emmerson
Mnangagwa to deal with the doctors’ industrial action.
The VP in March this year fired all striking nurses before
rescinding the decision.
"The matter went to the courts and they were found on the
wrong side of the law.
"The doctors were ordered to go back to work within 12 hours,
but they ignored court orders.
"The (doctors’) defiance is not acceptable, and we do not
"By this weekend, we want to see a complete change in the
public hospitals," he said Thursday.
The Zimbabwe’s Health Services Board (HSB) on Monday
suspended 530 junior doctors without pay and benefits for
embarking on an illegal strike and failing to heed a call by
their employer to return to work.
The doctors went on strike at the beginning of the month
demanding a review of their salaries and general working
The doctors were suspended for 14 days to pave way for
investigations into allegations of violating labor regulations
after a labor court ruled recently that the industrial action
The doctors ignored the ruling, prompting the HSB to warn
them that they would face disciplinary action if they continued
with the industrial action.
The doctors had protested that the HSB had taken the matter
to the Labor Court in the midst of negotiations.
In their statement Friday, the doctors said the junior
doctors that initiated the strike were qualified doctors with
university degrees from accredited institutions.
They also said government had not yet fulfilled its
undertaking to provide essential drugs, sundries and equipment
which were critical for them to resume work.
"When we visited NatPharm, we did not see the protective
clothing and laboratory machines we requested. Instead, we noted
that some of the medication which was being peddled as stocks
was beyond expiry date," the ZHDA said.
Consultants in the Public Health Institutions also issued a
statement Friday backing the junior doctors.
"As consultants we find the situation at the public health
institutions no longer tenable.
"We stand with the junior doctors in seeking resolution of
"Therefore, we urge the HSB to resolve this impasse within
the next 48 hours," the consultants said.
They said they had been working hard under difficult
circumstances and would not be able to continue offering their
services beyond the 48 hours.
"We believe the door to dialogue must never be closed and we
hope the HSB considers this statement in the good spirit it has
been delivered," the consultants said.
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