By Thandiwe Garusa
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube says government was trying its best to make sure Zimbabwean doctors had decent wages.
He was speaking during a Thursday tour of Baines Intercare Medical Centre in Harare’s Avenues area.
The tour was led by Vice President Kembo Mohadi.
The Treasury boss said government has set aside substantial resources to support the country’s ailing health sector.
“We have set aside substantial resources to support the health sector both in the infrastructure construction, reconstruction, refurbishing and acquisition of human resource skills, nurses and doctors training and also acquisition of drugs and other consumables; all of that support both in rural and urban areas,” he said.
Ncube’s comments follow a crippling strike by the country’s public hospital doctors which is now in its third month.
Government this week invited strong condemnation from ordinary citizens after it took the drastic decision to fire 77 striking doctors for continuously defying its directive to end their job action.
“We are making every effort to make sure that their salaries are decent,” he said, adding, “It is never easy; we are facing high inflation due to reforms that we want to take in.
“We do everything we can to make sure the salaries are decent, and they give decent service as well.”
Ncube continued; “And also these measures are not just monetary but non-monetary. For example, now all civil servants are able to import cars duty free.
“We are also trying to give them accommodation and subsidised transportation. As I speak, we will handover buses to other parts of the country.”
Zimbabweans have scorned their leaders for apparent lack of sincerity in redressing the situation as well as seeking treatment from outside the country while failing to provide adequate resources for local hospitals.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has been receiving treatment in Chinese hospitals for the past few months.