Health Minister Goes Down On His Knees To Doctors, “Let’s Talk While You Are At Work.”
16 October 2019
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Obadiah Moyo

Paul Nyathi|Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo has gone down on his knees begging striking doctors and other health workers to return to work while negotiations on their demands are on going with government.

He said this yesterday while fielding questions from journalists during the 36th Cabinet decision matrix in Harare on Tuesday.

“I want to appeal to doctors that our doors are always open,” said Dr Moyo.

“We are open to dialogue until we get solutions, but let us dialogue while we are at work.”

On the 60 percent salary adjustment offered by government during collective bargaining on which the doctors demanded more, Dr Moyo said: “That approval stands. Government is guided by the law. That is why we went to the courts. We are following what the law states and we shall follow the law. There is no way we will go against what the law says.”

Further, Government was unequivocal that it was unable to pay health workers in United States dollars, nor in local currency at the interbank rate, but would implement the percentage-based increment agreed during the negotiations.

Dr Moyo said all provisions of the law will be pursued in an effort to locate permanent solutions to challenges bedevilling the health sector.

While Moyo was pleading with the doctors, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa was not in the mood to plead claiming that the doctors have not been fair by disregarding efforts made by Government this far.

“The strike action disregards the significant efforts demonstrated by Government in its unwavering commitment to address their concerns,” she said.

“Such efforts include the recent upward review of their salaries and allowances, which should be in their accounts before the end of this month.

“The doctors, by continuing with the job action, are also in flagrant defiance of the court order which ruled their strike as illegal and ordered them to return to work forthwith. Doctors should value the sanctity of human life above all else and offer their critical services to patients.”