Govt, doctors clash over $300 deduction

HARARE - Government has deducted $300 off doctors’ salaries for taking part in a “illegal” strike which paralysed the health sector for two weeks.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) said the development has ruined the festive mood amongst members of the fraternity.

“In an unprecedented move that exposes government’s double standards, doctors woke up to the unimaginable after the public service docked almost $300 from their December salaries, effectively ruining their festive season,” the organisation said in a statement.

At least 300 of the 400-member Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) took part in the 17-day job action about two months ago, demanding an upward salary review to $1 200 and improved service conditions.

ZDHA executive described the move as a direct violation of the country’s labour laws, total disregard of the country’s constitution and sabotage of social services delivery in the country.

“ZHDA is shocked at the move as it becomes the first time ever in the history of the country that workers can be punished for exercising their constitutional right”.

In a document availed to doctors at Parirenyatwa Hospital over a week ago, the Public Service Commission, as directed by the ministry of Health and Child Care, announced  $264,48 would be deducted from their December and January salaries, bringing the total to $529,36.

The doctors last week filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court challenging the deduction.

Junior doctors working in Zimbabwe’s public health institutions are earning $283 per month in basic salary plus on-call and house-call allowances of between $70,75 and $129 per month.

Those who opt not to stay at the hospitals where they work, receive an allowance of $250 each month, which will ultimately see them receive a total of $549 per month excluding social security taxes, while those who reside at the hospital are not entitled to the $250 residential allowances, taking home $297,75.

Zimbabwe Medical Association secretary-general Shingi Bopoto said junior doctors had a constitutional right to strike and government confirmed the legality of their action by engaging them.

“We believe that dialogue is the way to go, even though we acknowledge that junior doctors have a right to engage in industrial action. If they had not followed due process we do not think the negotiations with government would have taken off,” said Bopoto.

Itai Rusike, Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) executive director, said, “It is illegal and demoralising to cut the doctor’s salaries as they are already underpaid.”

Comments (3)

Enough is enough, there comes a time when one needs to fight fire with fire !!!

Nomore Dr Nice - 28 December 2014

Are these doctors real doctors we know?? A salary of US$550 per month. Once the point working for government then!! Chiyangwa can tambirisa 1000 doctors a month for the whole year. What a shame to Mugabe's government.

Garikayi - 29 December 2014

ZPF's treatment of its own citizens is an absolute disgrace. How can you pay a doctor a salary like that. ZPF you are an oppressive government. You tale away all the rights of your citizens to speak out. You are a greedy government. You have taken everything for yourselves and left nothing for the people. By rights, Zimbabwe with all its God given resources should have enough for everyone to lead and live a decent life. You should resign in utter shame and disgrace.

Freedom4Zim - 29 December 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.