‘We are not on strike, we are incapacitated’

Top Stories Zimbabwe

… as doctors report for duty at Zimbabwe’s public hospitals

Leroy Dzenga and Samantha Rusare

Doctors in Zimbabwe say although government raised their salaries by 60 percent, they still cannot afford basics.

This has seen them embark on an industrial action which they are referring to as “incapacitation”.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association acting President, Dr Peter Magombeyi, told ZTN News that his members are willing to work, but the cost of living is eroding their earnings.

“The money offered is not enough to match the cost of living which has essentially gone up by more than 100 percent.

“We offer essential services and it is with a heavy heart that we are unable to attend to patients under our care due to incapacitation,” Dr Magombeyi said.

In written responses to ZTN, Health Services Board Executive Director Ruth Kaseke said government has no resources to agree to doctors’ demands.

“Government is very clear on this issue. It is a nationwide phenomenon and the government position is that currently there is no capacity to review salaries based on the interbank rate.  The current Cost Of Living Adjustment efforts are a starting point towards permanently addressing this issue,” she said. 

Doctors reported for duty at public hospitals in Harare today but services were slow and they were only attending to critical cases and children.

“I have been coming here since Sunday but there were no doctors to attend me,” said a patient at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

“My child has head injuries and when we sought medical care we did not struggle to get help,” said another patient.