The Health Services Board (HSB) has with immediate effect suspended the more than 550 junior medical doctors and radiographers for defying a Labour Court order declaring their industrial action as unlawful.

The striking medical doctors and health professionals have through their lawyers commenced an appeal process at the Supreme Court.

The HSB has served letters of suspension to the striking doctors and radiographers in terms of the provisions of section 6 (1) of the Labour Act national employment code of conduct regulations statutory instrument 15 of 2016.

HSB vice chairperson Professor Auxillia Chideme-Munodawafa confirmed this development and said they are enforcing a binding legal order.

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association confirmed its members are being served with the suspension letters while their lawyers Mr Edzai Matika and Munyaradzi Gwisai who are instructed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said they are lodging an appeal because they believe the Labour Court ruling was erroneous.

The doctors and radiographers commenced industrial action 24 days ago bemoaning poor remuneration, working conditions, unavailability of drugs and protective clothing amongst other concerns.

Government has on the other hand maintained it is hamstrung by competing interests in an ailing economy.

Meanwhile, social media has been awash with unassigned memos purportedly circulated to all district, provincial and central hospitals to the effect that government medical officers have also withdrawn their services in solidarity with the junior doctors.