Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda

A total of 102 medical practitioners at the KCMC Referral Hospital in Moshi municipality have joined the nationwide doctors’ strike and urged Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda to fulfill his promise to meet with their representatives in Dar es Salaam to listen to their grievances.

The doctors expressed their stand after a long meeting, given the fact that some of them are government employees while others are employed by the Good Samaritan Foundation (GSF) under the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Tanzania (ELCT).

During the meeting, the doctors reached a consensus that they should begin their strike today from 08:00am.

Speaking on the behalf of the doctors, all of who have completed their internship, the chairman of a transition committee handling doctors’ demands from the hospital, Mugisha Nkoronko, said the strike would end once the Prime Minister met and responded to their demands.

“The strike starts officially today and we will be waiting to hear from our colleagues in Dar es Salaam. So, it all depends on how matters will be handled by the government on our demands, otherwise it is going to be a permanent strike. We will only offer services to emergence cases like attending to expecting mothers and causalities but outpatient services will not be there,” he said.

He said the strike concerned doctors alone, those employed by the government and employed by the GSF.

“It seems politics now dominates everywhere even where professionalism is supposed to be applied. Politicians seem to have more value. When they fall sick are flown to India and get treated at the expense of taxpayers’ money. Dispensaries and health centres lack basic medical supplies and doctors are ignored despite working under risky circumstances,” he said.

In a report issued by the national doctors’ body, the doctors said top leaders in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare had been a stumbling-block to improve health services particularly ensuring low-income earners also received quality services.

They claimed most hospital facilities in the country were in a very pathetic situation, lacking medicines and medical equipment, citing Mwananyama, Temeke and Amana hospitals in Dar es Salaam as the most affected.

They said in those hospitals, there were times patients had to buy medicines and other equipment despite having paid for community health services, saying it was a shame to see patients sleeping on the floor even in referral hospitals.

They argued that it was time doctors’ living conditions were improved as the salaries they received did not help them meet their basic needs and they want to have better houses and allowances that reflected the nature of their work.

Source The Guardian

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