Doctors at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) have given Government a two week ultimatum to clear outstanding allowances amounting to K10 million.
Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDA) president Francis Mupeta said Government was owing both the Resident Doctors and Student Doctors an outstanding debt of over K10 million.
He said the debts were meant for settling allowances for registrar doctors in transitory routes and allowances for student doctors.
“The debt does not affect all doctors, but doctors who are in transit and student doctors who are here for a limited period of time.” Dr. Mutupa said.
He recalled that doctors had a meeting with Government represented by the Ministry of Health permanent secretary on September 2, 2015.
Dr Mutupa said at the meeting, it was agreed that Government would sort out the issue in two weeks.
He expressed optimism that Government would seriously look into issues affecting the doctors and other health workers.
“Am very certain that Government will fulfill its promise.” Dr Mutupa said.
He, however, threatened that Doctors would go on strike if Government failed to meet its obligation within two weeks.
“According to the meeting that we had, it was agreed that this issue will be solved within two weeks, if government fails to reach this obligation, am afraid doctors won’t work.” Dr Mutupa said.
He said Doctors worked under difficult conditions, but would endeavor to provide high quality health care within available limits to all members of the public.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mupeta has dismissed reports that circulated in the media that junior doctors at the highest referral hospital had gone on strike.
He said operations at the hospital were running normally and doctors were attending to patients.
Dr Mupeta clarified that there was only a misunderstanding between Doctors and Government and that the issue was being addressed.
“It was just a misunderstanding between Doctors and Government, nobody has gone on strike, all doctors are attending to patients.” he said.
Dr Mupeta said the misunderstanding was due to the debts which were outstanding for many years.