Monday, 7 October 2019


The Labour Court is this afternoon expected to make a determination on the legality of the 36-day mass job action by medical doctors following their continued rejection of repeated pleas by Government to return to work.

This was said by Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo last night. The development follows Government’s plea last Friday, urging the striking doctors to return to work with effect from October 7, or face disciplinary action.The doctors have also repeatedly rejected offers tabled by the Government.

Dr Moyo yesterday said most doctors remained defiant leaving Government with no option apart from instituting legal proceedings.

“Further to the statement issued by Ministry of Health and Child Care on Saturday, October 5, 2019, regarding the ongoing withdrawal of labour by some doctors, Government today (yesterday) the 7th of October 2019 has made an assessment of the situation at public health institutions and noted that some doctors did not take heed of the appeal and still chose to stay away from their work stations.

“Government is therefore allowing due legal process to continue with the Labour Court scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 at 14:30 hours wherein the Labour Court will determine the legality of the mass job action,” said Dr Moyo.

He commended the few doctors and some health workers who continued providing services during the ongoing job action. 

“The Government continues to be grateful to those doctors and other health care workers who have remained on their posts of duty delivering care, saving lives and alleviating suffering.

“Patients’ lives are paramount,” said Dr Moyo. In a statement last Friday following the Health Services Bipartite Negotiating Panel from which doctors rejected Government’s offer of 60 percent, all doctors were called to report for work beginning yesterday at 8am.

It was argued that those who fail to do so would be breaching their contracts of work and could face disciplinary action.

A survey by our Harare Bureau at some referral institutions yesterday captured a sorry state of affairs as patients continued to be sent back home without getting any medical services.

Very few doctors, both junior and senior, were attending to patients as the majority heeded their association’s call to stay away from work citing incapacitation and working conditions. 

Meanwhile, the junior doctors have submitted their written notice of exiting the Heath Apex Council to the Health Services Board (HSB).

Addressing some junior doctors accompanying the doctors’ executive to HSB offices housed within Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association acting secretary general Dr Tawanda Zvakada acknowledged that exiting the Health Apex leaves them with no legal platform to negotiate for their conditions of service with their employer. Herald


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