Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
Vice President Kembo Mohadi yesterday called for more dialogue between the Health Services Board and the Health Apex Council while Government continues to find a lasting solution to concerns raised by medical professionals.
He said this during a meeting with both parties at his offices in Harare yesterday.
HSB chairman Dr Paulinus Sikosana told The Herald last night that VP Mohadi wants engagements to continue.
“Vice President Mohadi was supportive of the negotiations and called on both parties to continue dialoguing while Government plays its part,” said Dr Sikosana.
He said as part of efforts to improve the doctors’ working conditions, Government was considering putting in buses to cater for health workers countrywide.
Already, Harare Hospital and Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals are providing transport to health workers.
Doctors have indicated to Government that they want an improvement in their working conditions, particularly an adjustment of their allowances such as risk and medical allowances as well as locum payments.
Dr Sikosana said the HSB had learnt with disbelief and surprise that doctors intended strike despite recently agreeing on an offer from Government.
“The records of the Bipartite meeting held on Thursday 29 August do not show any dissent from any members of the Health Apex Council.
“The agreement was signed by the Apex leader following an outcome of a vote by all Apex representatives.
“This is what the Apex leader told the Government representatives at the meeting,” said Dr Sikosana.
He said while doctors were adamant that they could not go to work, Government has put in place mechanisms to ensure transport was availed to them.
Dr Sikosana said Government was actively looking into issues affecting doctors.
“This is an issue Government is looking into and as far as we are concerned, central Government has already indicated that there will be a review on cost of living and they will get their cost of living adjustment early this month before they get the September salaries.
“Government is already seized with these issues from the highest office and there is that commitment that Government is working to improve the working environment for health workers.
“Some of these improvements might not happen overnight, but Government is working on the issues,” said Dr Sikosana.
Dr Sikosana also said yesterday’s meeting agreed that flexible working hours for nurses should continue, adding that there was nothing controversial about that.
The HSB says it was still open to negotiate with doctors so that an amicable solution was found so that patients are not inconvenienced.