Bulawayo – Disgruntled members of the Mpilo Hospital Doctors Association (MHDA) have indicated that they are slowly losing faith in their employer and threatened to take industrial action over a cocktail of grievances one of which is payment of their salaries in ‘greenbacks’ (United States dollars)
In a press statement released by MHDA information desk, the medical practitioners said after previous engagements and fake promises they were giving their employer a warning of industrial action.
“It is with a heavy heart that the association notes disappointing and delaying tactics employed by our principals in addressing what is visibly an urgent national health crisis. Sadly the health sector, which handles life and death matters in the new dispensation, is still stuck in the nostalgia of the old dispensation where uncertainty, opaqueness and ‘wait and see’ approaches were the order of the old day.
The health sector is still forgotten and forsaken, in light of this and the following intensive discussions with our members, we have seen it appropriate to give our employer a warning of collective job action in the form of a strike. The prime objective is to motivate the ministry into reorienting and adapting itself to the new and unpleasant realities hovering over the health sector.
We take no pleasure or pride in engaging in strikes but it is the only disposable weapon that our principal can only understand,” read part of the statement.
The association cited several factors that needed attention and the list include transport allowance and housing allowance which they say should be revised to match the current economic status quo.
The doctors also demand the government to pay their salaries in foreign currency preferably United States dollars to match the current market environment.
“In the spirit of transparency and inclusiveness, we would like to inform our members that the majority of us seem to be geared for a strike come Real time Gross settlement (RTGS) payment day, for RTGS is an insult considering that December is coming and hospitals would be packed to the brim. We deserve better,” read the press statement.
The doctors want clarity in what the Health ministry is planning in regard to maintaining constant supply of hospital consumables. They also demand the government to address the issue pertaining to private pharmacies who are charging drugs only in United States Dollars which is beyond the reach of most patients.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Nurses Association has joined the doctors who are demanding the payment of their salaries in greenbacks to match the current economic hardships.