Government will tomorrow drag all the striking hospital doctors to the Labour Court for defying the order to report for duty on Monday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo has said.
Dr Moyo said the decision was made after an assessment of the situation at the country’s public health institutions.
According to Dr Moyo, the Labour Court will determine the legality of the mass job action.
“After the government had ordered the doctors to report for duty on Monday, I visited some public health institutions and noted that some of the doctors did not go to work. Therefore the government is allowing due legal process to continue with labor court scheduled for tomorrow, 9 October 2019,” said Minister Moyo in a statement.
Minister Moyo said the health of the people should be prioritized and that the government continues to be grateful to those who remained at work.
“The government continues to be grateful to those doctors and other health care workers who have remained on their posts of duty delivering care, saving lives and alleviating suffering. Patients’ lives remain paramount,” added Dr Moyo in the statement.
The strike, started by junior doctors also saw middle and senior health staffers that include doctors and other specialists joining and making similar demands.
This forced their employer to offer them a 66 percent salary adjustment which they said was not enough.
This is not the first time that the country has faced such incidents as in April 2018, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga fired thousands of striking nurses who were demanding better salaries and working conditions.
According to VP Chiwenga, the drastic measure was taken after nurses continued with their strike after Treasury had disbursed $17 114 446 to cover the outstanding salary arrears for nurses.
Zimbabwe’s’ main opposition Party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has on numerous occasions called on the government to seek help from the European Union for funds to meet the doctors’ demands.