Medical doctors who have not been reporting for duty have been given an ultimatum to return to their posts of duty by 08:00hrs on Monday the 7th of this month, or risk disciplinary action.
Addressing a media briefing in Harare this Saturday, Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo warned that doctors who fail to comply will be in breach of their contracts of employment and will face disciplinary action.
He said the caution is for all categories of doctors including those who fall under the Ministry of Health and Child Care as well as university consultants.
This Friday, parties to the health service bipartite negotiating panel agreed to a 60% increment on health sector specific allowances but the doctors’ representatives turned down the offer.
Minister Moyo thanked those who have remained at work and revealed that government has reviewed upwards allowances for health workers.
One of the reasons cited by doctors is that their remuneration is not in line with comparative remuneration trends in the region and their employer the Health Service Board indicated that the amounts mentioned in the memo by senior doctors are not reflective of the true picture.
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education has been told to take appropriate action if any of their medical students do not comply while the Health Services Board has also been instructed to take relevant disciplinary action in terms of the provisions of the Labour Act.
Doctors have scaled down operations and are providing emergency hospital services only as a way of trying to force their employer to concede to their demands.