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'Splinter group a plot to silence doctors'

by Staff reporter
12 Dec 2019 at 20:01hrs | Views
A SPLINTER association of hospital doctors will be launched tomorrow amid allegations from existing groups that this is part of political "machinations" aimed at silencing genuine concerns being raised by the mainstream representative bodies.

The Progressive Doctors Association of Zimbabwe (PDAZ) released a statement to the effect that it would officially launch the union and announce an interim committee on Friday.

The group claimed that various development partners and representatives from government ministries such as Health and Finance would be present.

"An interim committee will be officially announced at the launch and the PDAZ president is expected to deliver a speech that will be addressing a number of issues particularly the doctor's incapacitation and the way forward," the statement read.

The PDAZ promised medical professionals from all over the country who would attend that they would get a chance to hear firsthand what it is promising to broker for them in ending the ongoing impasse with their employer.

"Transport, accommodation and other itineraries will be arranged for those travelling from Bulawayo and Gweru to Harare," read the statement.

However, some of the members whose contact numbers were appended to the statement declined to comment saying all questions would be answered at the launch.

"Everything will be explained at the launch in terms of who we are and what we stand for," one Tinashe Tarusinga said, adding that they would not pre-empt the event.

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) and the Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) members have faced off with their employer for the past three months over conditions of service and the matter spilled into the courts resulting in some members being fired.

However, following an offer from Higher Life Foundation, close to 100 doctors went back to work.

Contacted for comment Tawanda Zvakada of the ZHDA said he would not comment on this new development.

Following the salary impasse, most public hospital operations have been crippled, forcing patients to seek other alternatives which include private practice.

Meanwhile, four doctors at Marondera Provincial Hospital have tendered resignations while two more expected to follow suit, a move that has paralysed the referral medical institution.

On Tuesday, one medical practitioner David Mkwekwezeke was the latest to resign citing adverse working conditions.

"I am hereby tendering my resignation from my post at Marondera Provincial Hospital with immediate effect due to a plethora of adverse working condition," read the letter dated December 10 and addressed to the hospital's medical superintendent and Health minister Obadiah Moyo.

The hospital's medical superintendent Selestino Dhege confirmed the latest resignation and that of other two medical doctors.

"He tendered his resignation. The other two were dismissed during the strike. He (Mukwekwezeke) was given a final written warning after a disciplinary hearing before he resigned," he said.

According to hospital sources, four out of nine doctors have since resigned, thereby paralysing the major referral medical centre in Mashonaland East.

"The hospital has since lost four doctors with only five left. Two of the doctors will soon leave for Europe as they are currently sorting their paperwork to go and work there. Of the five doctors, there is the medical superintendent who is assisting.

"The hospital is now receiving patients from Harare and other areas as it does not turn away patients as is happening in Harare. The staff is bloated and the hospital also gets the services of a doctor from the ZPCS and some from the Provincial Medical Director's office," said the source.

Source - newsday