MPILO Central Hospital will today get an extra pair of hands from the Zimbabwe National Army to ease the burden caused by the national doctors strike which spills into day 27.
In addition, 35 newly graduated junior doctors will join the institution by April 1.
Doctors downed tools on March 1 after petitioning the Government to resolve its issues which include provision of medication and equipment in public health institutions.
Mpilo clinical director, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya, yesterday said a number of doctors from the army would join the institution to help the few overwhelmed medical practitioners until the strike ends.
“We will be having members of the Army joining us from tomorrow just to ease the pressure on the few doctors that have been overwhelmed due to the ongoing strike. We are not yet sure about the numbers but I understand that public health institutions in the country will have members of the army to help,” said Dr Ngwenya.
He said the strategy had been used in the past during a crisis and he was hopeful it would help members of the public access better healthcare.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care has also allocated us 35 recently graduated junior resident medical officers from the National University of Science and Technology and the University of Zimbabwe that will join us from April 1. We are currently working on their applications and we are hopeful this measure will help us deliver quality health care services to members of the public,” he said.
Dr Ngwenya added that although the strike had presented challenges for the hospital, contingency measures had been put in place to continue saving lives while awaiting a solution.
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) also raised concern over the impasse between the Government Zimbabwe and members of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) who have been on strike since March 1.
“The stalemate in negotiations has led to a prolonged job action by the doctors, leading to compromised health care. This in turn has led to serious suffering and pain by patients and unfortunate loss of lives in the country,” read the statement.
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association recently applauded President Mnangagwa for agreeing to intervene and sort out their issues.
The doctors have said they are ready to return to work as soon as promises made to them by the Ministry of Health and Child Care are put in writing.
In a statement ZHDA spokesperson, Dr Mxolisi Ngwenya, said they were hopeful President Mnangagwa’s intervention would yield positive results soon.
Doctors downed tools after petitioning the Government to address issues which include locum allowances, availability of medicine and equipment at public health institutions.
“Members would like to thank His Excellency, the President for his intervention. He is a man of his word and we believe that he will act with the urgency he has always shown,” said Dr Ngwenya.
“The reason why we have reached this critical point is that we accepted promises before from the same minister and Ministry, since 2014, and these continue to be broken.”
He said despite calls by Government for doctors to return to work, there were some outstanding issues that had to be addressed before the strike is called off. – Chronicle