The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) on Wednesday said they remain open for dialogue following the dismissal of 77 doctors who were found guilty of absenting themselves from work for at least five consecutive days.

Addressing ZHDA members at an emergency solidarity meeting held at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals on Wednesday, the association’s spokesperson, Dr Tapiwa Mungofa, said they were open for dialogue.

“We as the ZHDA, we remain open for dialogue and we have our patients at heart. Ordinary citizens are suffering and it is the most vulnerable of them all who are suffering the most, the children, the elderly and the pregnant women,” he said.

“The firing of the 77 doctors is what they have decided to do in order to solve the situation? We are still shocked, again we remain shocked.

“Doctors are not unreasonable, we are reasonable, but we have not received any communication from the employer so far in trying to negotiate with us, instead we are the ones who have been pushing for negotiations, but again we are already in this situation.

He said doctors were, however, not moved by the latest decisions of the employer to fire them saying they have been anticipating it.

“We were fired a long time ago and we hope they will come back to their senses and realise that these are the same doctors that the general population is depending on,” said Dr Mungofa.

 

77 out of 80 doctors who were scheduled for disciplinary hearings had been discharged from public service.

The doctors face the danger of being unable to be registered as competent medical practitioners who are able to work without supervision. Medical graduates in Zimbabwe and most other countries have to spend two years between university and full registration working in an approved institution under supervision.

The fired doctors, some of whom were staying in hospital accommodation have since been given 30 days to vacate the premises.