Zimbabwe govt turns to army, police doctors as strike continues

Obadiah Moyo

GOVERNMENT is set to deploy army and police doctors into the country’s public hospitals to fill up the vacuum created by an ongoing strike action by the critical health staff.

This was revealed during a post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday by Health Minister Obadiah Moyo.

Zimbabwe’s public hospital doctors recently embarked on a crippling strike action to press for improved wages and better working conditions.

The situation has been made worse by the alleged abduction of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association acting president Peter Magombeyi from his Harare home Saturday night with striking health staff declaring they will not report for duty if their colleague was not returned safe.

To cover the vacuum, Minister Moyo said the government has turned on doctors from the army, police and prisons as he also tried to play down the crisis obtaining in the country’s public hospitals especially in Harare and Bulawayo.

“The army will give you some assistance but there are also other doctors that have decided to continue providing service,” Moyo said.

“There is quite a sizeable number in each and every institution. Not as much as we would have wanted it to be. So at the moment, the information I have is that we have some coverage in our hospitals.”

Moyo assured striking doctors government was investigating the alleged abduction of their colleague, encouraging them to resume work.

“I want to encourage our workers to come back to work as investigations are underway. We want our doctor back and that’s straightforward,” he said.

Added the minister, “The army will be there to give assistance. They are always there ready and waiting whenever we have a shortage of this kind.

“We have requested the army, uniformed forces; police and prison officers to come and assist us and they are helping us during this period.” – Newzim