Doctors Strike Threatens Health System Recovery

THE Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) deplores the ongoing strike by junior doctors which threatens to damage efforts underway to rebuild the country’s health system.

The health system is still struggling to emerge from a crisis that left the country’s major referral hospitals unable to deliver services at the end of 2008.
Health professionals are entitled to adequate remuneration and acceptable working conditions. However, this must also be balanced against the wellbeing of patients. Unavailability of health services ultimately results in increased morbidity and preventable deaths.  
 At a time when all public service employees are struggling to survive on the salaries and allowances they are receiving, the Human Resources for Health taskforce is working to improve the salaries and working conditions of health professionals. These efforts should not be undermined.
ZADHR calls for improved communication and cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the Health Services Board and the health professionals concerned regarding efforts to retain and improve the working conditions of human resources for health.
While it is the government’s duty to ensure that Zimbabweans have available, accessible and quality health care, doctors also have a responsibility to contribute towards this realisation of the right to health.

Zimbabwe Association of
Doctors for Human Rights,
zadhr@mweb.co.zw