Fears of an industrial action by senior doctors and consultants have been allayed after the doctors clarified their correct position to the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obediah Moyo, stating that the obtaining situation with regards availability of medicines was almost untenable.
It was a no holds barred meeting with some of the senior doctors and consultants openly showing emotions.
In response to the concerns raised, Minister Moyo assured the doctors that the government is in full support of the health workers and will move with speed to rectify the situation.
“We want all health care workers to have ownership of the ministry…..we are setting up various committees, it is like a health assembly with all the consultants and nursing staff. A health assembly should be meeting on a regular basis to come up with solutions to health sector problems, solutions regarding supplies, equipment and supplies. I would be able to identify some funds so that our health sector gets essential supplies and equipment, and so far we have managed to US$1 million from the Ministry of Finance, so we want to get a team from the end users to identify what they want to buy for the purposes of them being able to provide services,” he said.
Minister Moyo however lamented that he is ending up micro-managing health institutions yet there are administrators who are supposed to be doing the job.
The Health Minister also clarified the foreign currency allocation issue, saying a substantial amount of medicine and surgical sundries are expected in the country soon.
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals CEO, Mr Thomas Zigora responded to some of the concerns raised by doctors, saying the hospital does not procure items without input from users, while NatPharm CEO, Mrs Flora Sifeku said the national warehouse has taken delivery of essential drugs that have been in short supply.
The meeting was also attended by Health Services Board (HSB) Chairperson, Dr Paulinas Sikosana and Executive Director, Mrs Ruth Kaseke.