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Doctors to pay for time lost in strike

Dr Gerald Gwinji

Dr Gerald Gwinji

Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
JUNIOR doctors who resumed duty after a two-week strike are set to compensate for the lost time.

Normalcy returned to public health institutions on Monday after junior doctors and nurses returned to work.

In a memorandum addressed to all hospital chief executive officers, Health and Child Care Permanent Secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji said the principle of no work-no pay will apply.

“ One of the agreements was that the members who withdrew their labour will forfeit vacation leave days in lieu of days not worked guided by the principle of no work-no pay. All health workers are expected to clock in for an audit trail in the payment of health worker retention allowances,” he said.

“Junior doctors who were away from training for a period of 14 days and above will be required to repeat the rotations for three months with effect from March 6 to end of May 2017.

This is in compliance with the rules and regulations of training as issued by the University of Zimbabwe’s College of Health Sciences and the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe.”

Dr Gwinji said doctors who qualified with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Degree in 2017 will be deployed to commence internship with effect from April 1 this year.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association president Dr Edgar Munatsi said they had agreed to forfeit their leave days as stated in the memo.

He however, said requiring doctors who were on strike to repeat rotations was tantamount to punishing them.

“It’s unfair to us, it’s like a punishment. We thought that since we had agreed to their offer we had compromised and they were going to make a concession on their part but we see now that they are coming after us which is not fair. We will talk to them,” said Dr Munatsi.

Doctors downed tools two weeks ago demanding an upward review of on call allowances, non-monetary incentives and creation of additional posts for district medical officers.

The Government has since increased the doctors’ on call allowances from $288 per month to $360 per month.

It also increased the night duty allowance from $50 to $91 on a sliding scale.

The duty free incentive for vehicles has been replaced with the employer assisted car loan scheme.

The Government has also availed 250 posts for junior doctors.

Nurses joined the strike last Monday demanding a release of their bonus dates, availability of nursing posts, restructuring of the current public health structure and their grading system among other issues.

The Government has responded by announcing and prioritising payment of bonuses to the health sector and availing 2 000 nursing posts.

The heath sector together with the Defence forces will get their bonuses next month.


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