I don’t know why doctors are striking-Minister Simbao

The University Teaching Hospital (UTH) is struggling to maintain service levels as junior doctors effect their strike.

Resident doctors from other parts of the country are expected to join the strike soon.

The Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) called the strike on Monday, saying it had failed to reach an agreement with the government on pay and related conditions.

RDAZ acting president Amon Ngongola said that the decision to strike had been difficult ‘as we recognise that the withdrawal of labour as health workers results in loss of life.’

Minister of Health Kapembwa Simbao said he did not know why the doctors were striking. On Tuesday afternoon, the union and government were locked in talks aimed at resolving the dispute.

Meanwhile, only senior and foreign doctors turned up to work at Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital (UTH).

‘Operations are going on well. Senior doctors have been able to fill in the gap,’ UTH spokeswoman Pauline Mbangweta told the Germany Press Agency dpa.

Mbangweta said 106 of the hospital’s 387 doctors had stayed away Tuesday and that student doctors had been called in to help plug the gap.

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