Zimbabwe Health Minister David Parirenyatwa says negotiations with striking doctors have now reached a critical stage and should now be treated as delicate.
In a ministerial statement to Parliament yesterday Parirenyatwa said the government had announced its offer to doctors, who went on strike on 1 March, but they rejected it because they felt it was not fair.
“The doctors should be given a forum to continue to discuss. I am aware now that we have reached a very critical stage in trying to negotiate. I say it is now a critical state because the negotiations have been elevated to the highest levels and the doctors assisted by senior doctors and consultants, are in consultation with Government in negotiations at a higher level,” Parirenyatwa said.
“At this stage, we would like these negotiations to be treated as delicate as they are delicate so that we chart our way forward with the doctors. We generally hope that the impasse can be resolved soon. We want our doctors to come back to work because the real victim is the patient of this country. The real victim is the one we all should strive to assist, that is the real victim that we should all take care of as best as we can.
“We need to prioritise the health delivery system of this country as a people. I urge you to try and ring fence the health sector so that it is given the priority that it deserves. If we continue to make it dispersed, then we continue to have these problems. I am however pleased that our principals are now at the center of this in terms of finding a solution and I hope that this can bring some finality to the issue,” he said.
Below is the full statement:
INDUSTRIAL ACTION IN THE HEALTH SECTOR
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank you particularly because you are affording me this time to deliver this very important statement to the nation, to Parliament, so that we can see the perspective of where we are with regard to the industrial action that is in the health sector.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I will take you through and chronicle to you what has happened…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Members, there were concerns that the Minister could not deliver his statement yesterday. It was raised in this particular Chamber this afternoon and you start making noise when the Minister is here to deliver his statement. Let us hear him in silence please.
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