PAC sides with Resident Doctors
THE People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) says threats by the government on aggrieved resident doctors are an assault on healthcare systems.
PAC president Andyford Mayele Banda pledges that once his party forms government, all government employees are assured of conducive conditions of service, devoid of threats or intimidation as the case is now.
Banda, in a statement to #Kalemba, expressed “utter disappointment” at the government’s intimidation and threats against the Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ).
He says resident doctors are merely demanding, from the government, what rightfully belongs to them.
“As a party, we are taken aback by the use of State apparatus such as the Zambia Police and Health Professions Council of Zambia to intimidate the doctors who work so hard to keep the healthcare system intact every day,” Banda stated.
Among other things, doctors are demanding to be paid arrears in allowances, gratuities and recruitment of the more than 500 jobless doctors.
“Our hard-working men and women front-liners were cheated by the almost five permanent secretaries who held a press briefing recently, assuring that the demands would be met,” he said.
“Therefore, the doctors are within their rights to protest in demand of their dues which we support.”
Banda has accused the government of neglecting healthcare workers.
“Soon it will be the defence forces because all they are interested in is enriching themselves through every corrupt means possible,” Banda said.
“The Patriotic Front government has been wasting millions of taxpayers’ monies empowering their cadres with 50 fuel tankers and giving musicians money without a clear business plan yet doctors who are supposed to be attending to our patients in hospitals remain neglected.”
He has further advised the government to desist from arm-twisting resident doctors.
The Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) has since suspended RDAZ president Dr Brian Sampa’s practicing licence.
Banda is astonished that Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja issued a threatening statement yesterday that police will arrest those who attend Zoom meetings hosted by the resident doctors.
“This is a clear indication of a shrinking civic space in a country that is supposed to be democratic,” he said.
“We wish to remind Mr Kanganja that the cyber security law which he wants to use to crack down on our civic space is currently actively challenged in court and cannot enforce it as this will be irregular.”
Banda is also urging the government to exercise restraint in the manner they handle the aggrieved resident doctors.
“They have clearly not prioritised [the resident doctors] as they are the backbone of our healthcare system,” said Banda.
“All the government should do, without hesitation, is to meet all the demands and release doctors reportedly detained on unfounded grounds.”