By Paidashe Mandivengerei
Only 46 of more than 500 public hospital doctors who were fired by the government have started reporting for duty. This follows President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 48hour moratorium, the government has said today (Tuesday).
After meeting with the Catholic bishops delegation led by Archbishop Robert Ndlovu last week, Mnangagwa issued a two-day moratorium for fired doctors to return to work without conditions.
Doctors downed tools four months ago demanding salaries pegged at the prevailing interbank rate and improved working conditions.
The job action which has crippled the country’s health sector resulted in the sacking of over 500 doctors by the government for participating in an “illegal” strike.
Speaking at a post-cabinet media briefing, Information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said the government will provide accommodation for doctors reporting for duty.
“The Minister of Health and Child Care updated Cabinet on the industrial action by public hospital doctors as well as City of Harare nurses. He indicated that 46 dismissed doctors had presented themselves for work at various institutions following the moratorium extended by His Excellency the President to the doctors who were dismissed. Cabinet directed that the moratorium lapsed on 1 December 2019 and would not be extended as this would negatively affect patients. Cabinet resolved that discussions on conditions of service would only be held with those doctors who are at work.
Cabinet further noted with satisfaction that the construction of flats for lease to doctors had commenced in Harare. Two (2) blocks of medium density flats will be constructed at all the country’s hospitals on a phased approach.”