We are still incapacitated: Senior doctors

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SENIOR doctors have dismissed claims they have fully returned to work saying they are still incapacitated and are only attending to urgent and emergency cases.

This comes after Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo on Wednesday told the media that all senior doctors had abandoned the crippling strike and resumed their duties.

“We are happy doctors have come back to work. This will help us to sit down together and see how we can resolve problems affecting them.

“We are going to be able to all talk and listen to each other, it’s not a matter of selfishness but we want to help each other,” Moyo said.

However, Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) secretary-general Aaron Musara said doctors still do not have the capacity to deliver their full services in public health institutions.

“The doctors are there yes, but there is no way there will be full service. The toxic flexi-hours system is still very much alive.

“You cannot treat patients under a flexi-hours system without adverse outcomes occurring. It is a patient killer.
“Doctors have agreed to go and see only urgent and emergency cases till there is restoration of proper systems of patient care and equipment is made available,” Musara said.

The SHDA secretary-general said the flexi-hours system is whereby health care workers work two to three days per week.

“This was introduced for nurses and doctors are demanding that it should be removed as it is negatively affecting their work.

“The workers are brought to work in buses and as they disembark, their counterparts who were on duty are already waiting in the queue to board the same bus.

“There is therefore no more handover between workers.

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“This has destroyed continuity of care in the hospitals. We have made it very clear that senior doctors do not want to return to work in the current flexi-hours system.

“The healthcare workers must be capacitated enough for them to be able to come to work in some standard shift system that promotes good patient care,” he said.

They downed tools in October last year citing incapacitation of hospitals in terms of drugs, sundries and equipment and doctors’ poor remuneration which they said does not match the high cost of living.

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