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The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has requested an urgent meeting with Government over new contracts for junior doctors which they argue they were not consulted on and are not in the best interests of their welfare.

In a letter to Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa dated March 16, ZHDA also gave notice of a mass industrial action if dialogue between the two parties failed to yield expected results.

ZHDA now awaits communication from the ministry on when they could meet Dr Parirenyatwa.

“We are requesting an urgent meeting with the Health Minister over ZHDA members’ rejection of the Health Services Board (HSB) contract in efforts to resolve the impending crisis.

“The formal communication also gave notice of a mass industrial action should dialogue fail to settle this latest and explosive industrial dispute,” said ZHDA president Dr Fortune Nyamande.

According to the contract, which became effective last month, doctors’ earnings are not stipulated.

The contract also does not provide a salary for female interns when they are on maternity leave and does not guarantee payment of on-call allowances.

A doctor can also be fired once Government gives a month’s notice of termination of the contract.

HSB public relations executive, Mr Nyasha Maravanyika said the contract is meant for medical interns and was put in place to instil discipline and order in the health delivery system.

He said consultations were made with the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) and provincial hospitals and HSB even sought guidance from the Attorney General’s office.

Source : The Herald