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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Doctors to stage go slow on Monday

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All the juniors country wide will from Monday stage a go slow to press for the payment of arrears, gratuity and settling in allowances accrued from 2015.

A go slow by medical doctors means only emergency cases will be attended to.

Resident Doctors Association President Dr Byran Sampa revealed that the resolution to go on a go slow was arrived at after a virtual meeting held on Wednesday evening.

The meeting was held to chart the way forward after the earlier ultimatum issued to government to address the doctors grievances was ignored.

The ultimatum expired on Monday.

In a memo seen in Lusaka and addressed to all 3,500 doctors, Dr Sampa is instructing all doctors to stop work until all issues are addressed.

The doctors want government to pay the K150 million owed in arrears arising from unpaid gratuities and settling in allowances.

The doctors also want government to clearly state when it shall commence the recruitment of doctors as 530 qualified doctors still remain unemployed.

Dr Sampa who was just recently elected as RDAZ President said the doctors are resolved to press on with their demands because government has shown lack of willingness to address the issues.

“From 2015, these issues have been with government, the team which was there before me even produced a Position Paper which was even tabled in Cabinet but up to now, nothing is happening. We have escalated the matter to the highest office in the land and we cannot continue like this,” Dr Sampa said.

He said efforts to engage the Ministry of Health point to a lack of funding from the Treasury as one of the key issues affecting the Ministry’s operations.

“We need to recruit new doctors. The current Doctor-Patient ratio stands at 1 to 12,000 and this is unacceptable. The 530 unemployment doctors can all be absorbed by the system and we can’t still have a shortfall of 3,000 more doctors. Government just needs to do the correct thing and employ these doctors who were trained a high cost.”

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