Govt urged to end doctors' strike

HARARE - A faith-based rights group has said it is greatly disturbed by the ongoing doctors’ strike in Zimbabwe, a situation that has led to an unacceptable loss of lives.

The Jestina Mukoko-led Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said the State must take all practical measures to ensure the provision of basic, accessible and adequate health services throughout Zimbabwe; take appropriate, fair and reasonable measures to ensure that no person is refused emergency medical treatment at any health institution and also take all preventive measures within limits of the resources available to it, including education and public awareness programmes, against the spread of disease.

ZPP’s call follows the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’  Association (ZHDA) members’ peaceful nationwide strike which begun on Monday, October 27 as a response to the laxity shown by government to address their concerns.

ZHDA said the strike shall only be called off if striking doctors’ demands were met through a written formal communication by the employer.

“ZPP subscribes to the constitutional provisions that basic, accessible and adequate health care should be provided to all citizens of Zimbabwe where no person should be refused emergency medical treatment at any medical institutions,” ZPP said in a statement.

“Therefore, ZPP deems the current status quo as contravening the Zimbabwe Constitution Chapter 2:29.”

The situation is progressively becoming dire resulting in the loss of lives of the unattended patients contravening one of the basic human rights, the right to life.

Farai Makoni, ZHDA secretary-general said it is the sole responsibility of the State to see to it that the basic human rights including the right to health were upheld.

The doctors maintain their plea for government to find an urgent solution to forestall the continued suffering of people who need hospital services.

ZHDA members, he said, were willing go back to work immediately should their grievances be addressed.

The ministry of Health and Child Care has appealed to doctors to return to work while they continue to look at their grievances, according to Health permanent secretary, Gerald Gwinji.

ZPP said while it appreciates the doctors’ concerns as given by their right to decent work; it was “more concerned about the plight of patients whose lives are at stake should this status quo continue”.

“ZPP therefore appeals to involved parties to urgently find a lasting solution to ensure the right the highest attainable standard of health and right to life are upheld without compromise,” the ZPP statement said.

“ZPP also implores government to seriously attend to the aggrieved doctors in relation to their rights  to decent work being upheld — that is better working conditions.”

Comments (4)

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lovemore - 13 November 2014

I'm sure Jestina Mukoko's ZPP was formed with the good intentions of fighting for people's rights, I'm also sure money to be made at the end of the day was also a big ingredient in it's formation. When Doctors trained for the job, it was with the good intentions and the love for helping the sick and to provide health advice to communities, money to be earned was also a pushing factor. The real perpetrator here is not the Doctors who rightfully deserve a decent salary for services rendered, but the government of Zimbabwe who are violating their very own constitution of providing health for all and making it accessible to everyone who so ever seeks it. As ZPP, do they provide free legal advice to everyone, of course they do not. But as an organisation mandated to fight for people's rights, they have to be heard making some noise, it's understandable.

Dr Know - 13 November 2014

why hasn't the politburo called an emergency meeting to resolve the doctors strike? emergency meeting over the water crisis ,electricity too, the economy in general .why is grace not embarking on countrwide rallies aimed at finding ways to help find solutions to these problems .you then hear some people say Mugabe cares.

mashmallow - 14 November 2014

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