By Paidashe Mandivengerei
STRIKING senior doctors at public hospitals have made a passionate appeal to local business to avail funds to source medical equipment for use while they return to work for six weeks during the “treacherous” Festive Season to offer critical emergency services.
Emergency services at public hospitals have collapsed after junior doctors downed their tools some four months ago demanding an upward review of their salaries and medical equipment in institutions.
Senior doctors followed and joined the strike three weeks ago while making similar demands.
This has forced hospitals to turn away patients, putting lives of thousands of patients at risk.
In an internal communication seen by the NewZimbabwe.com this week, the Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) are appealing to local businesses to provide funds for medical equipment.
They went on to accuse Health Minister Obadiah Moyo of blatantly lying that he would address the concerns of the striking doctors and get them back at work.
“We are therefore left with a few options before us as follows: To consider our suffering masses and go back to offer only the likely possible emergency services for a defined period of six weeks especially when looking at the treacherous festive season,” the senior doctors’ internal memo reads.
“During this period, we will appeal to the community and make them know that the hospitals are now left to them as the primary end users as the minister has now abandoned all. They have to support the hospitals. Relatives should be prepared to buy drugs and sundries and whenever referrals are made, relatives must be prepared to move swiftly to rescue the situation of their loved ones.
“We hope the ailing corporate world will be able to cough out something that can help on equipment. We will put ourselves ready to work with the supporters of our facilities as in guiding them on our needs. Depending on the response of the community in the six weeks, we then decide whether this can work or we have to rethink our working strategy for ourselves: to stay on and do what or not to,” the memo continues.
In the memo, SHDA felt its members should be prepared to resign from the ailing health care sector should their strike go for over five months.
“Option 2: To continue on work stoppage until we are satisfied that something has eventually been done about the situation. With this option, we must appreciate that with no service provision, members must be prepared to resign when we reach day 150 knowing pretty well that nothing will ever be done about the situation.”
According to the memo, senior medical personnel are getting job offers from different countries daily.
“Option 3: To immediately resign and pursue other avenues which may include the persistent callers and mailers that are coming daily to invite us to different countries. While on this, we need to remember that all along we have kept on going and encouraging one another not to quit because the nation is ours and we want a functional health system in it.”
The Festive Season is one of the busiest periods for hospitals and this year, the Government seems unprepared to deal with anticipated emergencies.