By Phyllis Mbanje

Striking doctors have effectively ended their near five months industrial action after the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) yesterday urged all its members to take up the cash offer made by Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa’s Higher Life Foundation (HLF) to improve their working conditions.

The Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) also said its members met on Monday and agreed to upscale from offering emergency services to include the urgent cases, which could not be assisted all along.

Striking junior and senior doctors had in November turned down offers to be paid $5 000 monthly by Masiyiwa and his wife, Tsitsi, through their HLF.

But in a rare show, the ZHDA yesterday issued a statement urging its members to apply for the offer of training fellowship before the stipulated deadline.

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“The ZHDA remains eager and committed in engaging all the responsible authorities and interested parties in finding a long-lasting solution to the doctors welfare, to the working conditions in hospitals for the benefit of our patients,” the doctors said.

A source said once the doctors have signed up, they would resume duties.

Senior doctors, on the other hand, said last week they met Acting President Constantino Chiwenga, who expressed his commitment to a holistic approach in handling their issue.

However, the SHDA said issues that caused the incapacitation remained unresolved.

“In view of the persisting shortages, relatives are expected to actively take part in the care of their loved ones through the purchase of drugs and sundries from time to time, including some drugs that are ordinarily hospital-based and not found in general pharmacies,” the senior doctors said.

“Some complicated surgeries and other producers requiring sophisticated equipment shall remain suspended until such a time equipment is availed.”