Zimbabwe government doctors today wrote to the Health Services Board and the Ministry of Health that they will not be reporting for work from Tuesday, 3 September, because they do not “have the means to continue coming to work because the salary is not sufficient”.
According to the letter signed by acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association Peter Magombeyi, the doctors will not report for work until their salaries have been adjusted at the interbank rate based on the market forces of the day.
Initially the doctors were saying that they wanted to be paid in United States dollars which the government flatly refused to do.
The doctors who will not be going to work, according to the notice are from Mpilo and United Bulawayo Hospitals as well at Parirenyatwa, Harare Central and Chitungwiza hospitals.
“Attempts to engage the employer have proved to be futile,” the letter said.
“Letters have been submitted and meetings have been attended through the Bipartite Negotiation Panel to register this concern. No satisfactory agreement has been reached so far to insulate the doctors from the current high cost of living. Delays by the Health Services Board in reviewing our salaries has exposed us to incapacitation.”
The government offered doctors a 60 percent salary adjustment which they rejected.
Civil servants accepted a salary adjustment of 50 to 76 percent this week but said negotiations would continue.
Doctors went on a 40-day strike in December-January but returned to work after the government refused to bow to their demands.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube says the government will continue to adjust salaries for civil servants but this must be within its means.