Medical practitioners in the country have issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to work out their long standing claims or else they would resolve to go on strike countrywide.
Reliable sources divulged the information to the Guardian On Sunday yesterday following the doctors’ meeting convened in Dar es Salaam to discuss the report of government committee formed work on issues affecting doctors and propose the way forward.
They said they had no confidence with the committee and were surprised by the report that came from the government which did not show the salary rises they were demanding, and instead they were told it was impossible as they could not show quotations of the breakdown of the overall salary they receive.
According to the sources, the doctors have held six committee meetings in the past three months and up to now there is no lasting solution on their salary demand.
Sources have confirmed that the doctors’ meeting aired the view that the committee has not been straightforward especially in the matter concerning their salary hikes. In their second meeting the doctors discussed the issue of reforming health services and later it came to the issue of salary hikes.
Doctors decided in their last meeting to ignore the government’s report for it doesn’t exactly show how much they will be paid. They said it was supposed to show them if the government had failed to pay them the salaries they were demanding, what alternative salary level the government was prepared to offer.
With several committee meetings with the government without progress, doctors have noticed that the government is not ready to implement what they demand “as they always keep on changing their stance and leave them at crossroads,” the sources noted.
“We have refused to accept the report and also we do not have confidence in the government’s committee as we have seen they are not ready to help us.
Moreover we have been discussing the same issue which is not yet finished up to now, and they have not clarified how and to what extent our claims are going to be settled, verify how much the government would set aside as rise to meet our salary demands.
If we have mentioned an amount o the higher side of things, then it was the responsibility of the committee report to give a reasonable government position on the matter,” an organizer among the doctors elaborated.
Earlier, the doctors sent their proposals demanding their basic salary to be three million shillings per month. One of the doctors’ committee members said on condition of anonymity that the government committee has not yet issued a definitive response to this proposal, with ministerial sources saying that such a hike would affect the government budget.
What had also astonished them was the promise by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda in an earlier meeting with the doctors, as he has failed to execute the decision reached.
The premier had promised them that during the next budget to be tabled in Parliment next week specialist doctors would be paid Th 50,000 allowances per day while other doctors would collect Sh 40,000 per day, but the promise has been turned down.