Monday, 14 October 2019

DOCTORS ULTIMATUM ENDS


Government will today assess the compliance of striking junior doctors to the Labour Court ruling handed down last Friday compelling them to report for work within 48 hours.

This followed an application by the Health Services Board (HSB) to the Labour Court to show cause why the collective job action should not be terminated.

In an interview with The Herald yesterday, HSB board chairman Dr Paulinus Sikhosana said the doctors had up to this morning to report for duty. 

He said only after the expiration of the Labour Court ultimatum would the employer start considering their next move.

“We will start monitoring the situation tomorrow (today) because the Labour Court ruling says 48 hours. We will then see how we can proceed, should they fail to report for work as directed,” said Dr Sikhosana.

The striking doctors have, however, vowed not to report for work today despite the ruling, which declared their mass job action illegal.

Through the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), the doctors said they will soon be lodging an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the Labour Court’s ruling. 

“While doctors would want nothing more than to return to work in service of their patients, they continue to be incapacitated. They lack resources to enable them to comply with the Labour Court judgment. An appeal will be lodged with the Supreme Court,” said ZHDA in a statement yesterday.

The doctors said the latest engagement between them and the HSB on Friday, again failed to bear fruit.

The doctors are now demanding their on-call allowances to be reviewed monthly at the prevailing interbank rate.

Should the doctors fail to report for work today, it will be 43 days since they withdrew their labour from public health institutions.

Although the majority of them have not been reporting for work for all these days, some doctors including seniors, continued offering their services. Herald

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