VP Chiwenga to oversee Government negotiations with striking doctors

Harare-Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has been tasked with overseeing government’s efforts to broker a deal with striking junior doctors.

The Doctors are at loggerheads with their employer as they demand their wages to be paid in US dollars as well as better working conditions.

“While noting the ongoing efforts to resolve junior doctor’s strike we agreed that henceforth, the engagement process be under the guidance of Honourable Vice President Chiwenga” said Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa

This comes after the labour court threw out an application by the Health Services Board (HSB) to judge the strike as illegal.

In its application HSB condemned the doctor’s industrial action arguing that their services were essential.

Early this year Vice President Chiwenga fired nurses who had embarked on strike

Meanwhile Finance Minister has dismissed calls by striking junior doctors to have their salaries paid in hard currency.

“We value our junior doctors and all our health workers and of course we sympathise with their plight like we do with the plight of every Zimbabwean in this transitional situation,” said Minister Ncube.

“Government has done a lot in meeting the demands of the junior doctors – fuel for transportation purposes, vehicle loans and other such demands that they placed upon us and we responded. We feel that we are really doing our part in responding to their demands,” he said.

Prof Ncube said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had put in place a facility for the procurement of drugs through the National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm).

The junior doctors have, among other grievances, cited drug shortages at Government hospitals as a major reason for the strike.

“We have got a good supply of drugs coming through and this again has been communicated to the junior doctors,” said Prof Ncube.

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