60 percent allowance review for striking Zim doctors

Business Top Stories Zimbabwe

Edwin Mwase

The Zimbabwe government has increased health sector staff allowances by 60 percent and ordered striking doctors to resume duties on Monday.

It emerged on Saturday that doctors’ representatives wanted a higher percentage and walked out of negotiations last Friday.

However, authorities warned that doctors who do not report for duty face disciplinary action.

ZTN News could not immediately reach the doctors’ representatives for comment.

Health and Childcare Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo told journalists in the capital, Harare, on Saturday that the new allowances cover night duty, nurse managers, on-call duty, special health and stand-by staff.

“On 4 October 2019, all parties to the Health Service Bipartite Panel agreed to a 60 percent increase on health sector specific allowances. However, the doctors’ representatives walked out of the negotiations as they preferred a higher percentage.

“The parties to the meeting agreed on the locum rates for nurses and paramedics to be reviewed from the current $4 to $16 per day hour; and from $6 to $24 per night hour.

“Locum rates for doctors were also reviewed from the current $7 to $28 per day hour; and from $10 to $40 per night hour.” 

The initial uniform grant shifted from $75 to $300; uniform maintenance from $75 to $300 and the psychiatric allowance from $20 to $100 per month.

Further, the out of residence allowance has been reviewed from $250 to $500 per month, while the post basic allowance moved from $70 to $150 per month.

The additional post basic allowance will also be increased from $10 to $25 per month for the first additional qualification. 

Junior doctors at public hospitals have been on strike since early September, with their seniors joining last Thursday. Their demands included higher income and better working conditions.

Patients were being turned away without treatment.