The Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) is aware and has been following closely the labor dispute that has been ongoing for the past few weeks between resident doctors in the civil service and their employer, the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ). We are on record having stated that while we believe the grievances of the resident doctors are genuine and frustratingly underserved, any industrial action currently when the sector is preparing for the looming third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic would be mistimed.
In this regard, ZMA has continued to mediate between the representatives of the aggrieved resident doctors, the Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) and GRZ by providing counsel to both sides in the hope of reaching an amicable and timely solution on the round table. ZMA has learnt with alarm and concern events of the past 48 hours where RDAZ has declared a “go-slow” and concurrently, the Health Profession’s Council of Zambia (HPCZ) has suspended the practicing license of the RDAZ President for alleged gross misconduct.
As it stands, members of ZMA, the resident doctors are aggrieved and need their concerns met to continue servicing the country as front line workers in the looming COVID-19 third wave. As an overseeing mother body of the Medical Profession, ZMA would like to reiterate its call for all concerned parties to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from setting themselves on a collision course. We urge both parties, Resident Doctors and the Government to go back to the negotiating table and iron out their differences in a manner that preserves the dignity and societal standing of the health sector. ZMA calls on HPCZ to immediately rescind its decision to suspend the license of the RDAZ President as a first step towards reconciling the parties involved in this dispute.
For God and Country!
Dr. Masiku Phiri