By A Correspondent- Junior doctors in Zimbabwe have been invited to the army barracks, ZimEye has learnt.
The development comes following the health professionals’ apology which was captured live on the national broadcaster ZTV where the junior doctors apologised to government for striking over salaries and better working conditions.
The doctors have been instructed to bring their own blankets.
Wrote Dr Peter Magombeyi:
2Junior Doctors invited to Gweru army barracks for training. “Please bring your own blanket”, and you expect much from this?”
Last month, Information and Publicity Minister Nick Mangwana published a statement on his Twitter handle revealing that government had lifted with immediate effect the suspension of the University of Zimbabwe masters students in medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology.
Mangwana attributed the development to a “lengthy engagement between the doctors and Health and Childcare Minister Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga”.
The doctors were aired on ZBCTV making their apology.
Said .Dr Maxwell Chimhina, a representative of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology training group:
“We are really sorry about the events that have led to our suspension. We hope you are going to find it in your heart to forgive us to finish our studies and serve the community.
Before the public apology ten trainee doctors from different parts of the country and several government officials met at the Ministry of Health offices. These students had been part of the strike that had stretched for over two months, which had led to the suspension of classes at the University of Zimbabwe on 23 September by the ministry.
In the suspension letter issued by Dr Noah Mutongoreni, UZ dean of medicine and health sciences, students were banned from public hospitals after they requested personal protective equipment, foetal monitors, functional theatre rooms, among others, to allow them to effectively undertake their clinical duties.
The conflict and the public apology that ensured the students’ return to work caused public outrage and critics refer to the incident as one of the government’s attempts to turn the health sector into an extension of the military.
This follows concerns over plans by the government to recruit medical graduates into the Zimbabwe Defence Force.
But in a government response Mangwiro said in parliament on 7 October junior doctors who did not complete their courses and who are willing can join the army, police or prisons, but if there is a vacancy through the Ministry of Health, they can be employed.
“So it is not mandatory, but what we are saying is that there are vacancies in the army, police or prison service,” said Mangwiro.-UWN/ZimEye