Close to 200 doctors go for seven months without pay

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Medical staff on a Mobile Phone
Medical staff on a Mobile Phone

The Zambian Government through the Ministry of Health has failed to pay close to 200 newly recruited medical doctors seven months after they were deployed.

And a number of qualified doctors in Zambia still remain unemployed.

Sources at the Ministry of Health have confirmed that 139 doctors are working without being placed on the payroll.

The worst affected medical facility is the University Teaching Hospital where 26 doctors are working without getting paid while at Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital, 28 doctors have also not been put on payroll except for only four.

Ministry officials have confirmed that the Resident Doctors Association of Zambia has started engaging the Ministry in order to resolve the issue.

In a recent media statement in reaction to Government’s move to ban public health workers from taking up private jobs, Resident Doctors Association of Zambia General Secretary Francis Mupeta reminded government that Zambia doctors have sacrificed a lot and given up so many of their rights as workers for the sake of saving the public.

Dr Mupeta stated that having medical doctors go for seven months with pay is equivalent to casualisation of the medical profession

He described the situation as sad.

“Doctors went for 5 straight years without a pay raise until this year when they received a nominal rise that is not even worth talking about. Resident doctors are currently being underpaid their fuel allowance for the past 5 years and have continued to live on the promissory note of the “issue being rectified”.

Specialist doctors are being deployed to all provincial hospitals without a corresponding match in their pay. This too is tantamount to abuse of employees,” Dr Mupeta said.

Dr Mupeta charged that doctors in the public-sector work with limited resources and have gone without complaining.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. Its not only doctors even nurses and teachers . Thats how the system operates

    It takes about six months before new government recruitment system pay arrears

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    • This is very wrong. The government should be ashamed of themselves. Many Civil servants are affected. And yet Lungu and his gang are living it large at tax payer’s expense. What type of person does this? How does Lungu sleep at night? Is he really a Christian?

      Let me put it into context:

      One single trip to Swaziland or Uganda by Lungu would probably be equivalent to a year’s salary for all these 200 Doctors. This is why Doctors and other skilled Zambians are leaving the country. We all love Zambia, but frustrations like these have made us go to places where we can raise our children affordably.

      These are very trying times for the people of Zambia. They deserve better. They should demand better.

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    • @1 Its political.. are you out of your mind or is it that the abnormal things in Zambia have become normal that’s why you are talking like this. Can you imagine yourself being a doctor and you have not been paid for all those months. Come on now, we need to stop being cadres and support anything that comes out of this government. Where on earth would someone be working without a pay and still continue going to work? The answer is only in Zambia where the abnormal have become normal and we have people like you who can speak like this. This shows the level of illiteracy that we have in Zambia and that’s why we cannot move forward and develop our mother Zambia.

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  2. To all MPS: Please speak for the people who voted for you. To the Minister of Finance have mercy on Government employees going without pay. This is what the bible says: Leviticus 19: 13 The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night till next morning. Deuteronomy 24: 14 – 15, James 5: 4, Jeremiah 22: 23. Gods Judgment will be on this country and we shall remain poor because workers are crying to God. He will hear them and answer them

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    • They know the day of judgement is not next week. So they will sin today and repent before midnight only to sin again and repent. The the uselessness of the day of judgement in situations such as this. Those whose actions culminate into loss of life know they can do anything and get away with it. And they do.

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  3. This can’t be true. What do they eat if they don’t get paid for that long? Be honest always!

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    • Levy & Ndola Central Hospitali have arranged for Doctors to eat in Canteen. For those with family the family has stepped in.
      There’s such a thing as Gods Mercy, some medical staff in rural stations have abandoned their stations, there’s a crisis,why do we defend the indefensible?

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  4. If a doctor can work for 7 months without pay here in town, what of a poor worker in a rural district? Cry my beloved Zambia! You are rotten to the core

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  5. The issue may be that government has over employed ,hence wage bill is abnormal + huge ministers salaries and allowances .cant restructure fear of losing votes or power

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  6. But then here comes a by-election,,,,alas the same lot is voted in,,,,”Zambians,,,you never cease to amaze me”

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  7. And the PF fools are busy politicking about the noosense by elections shame on this country.

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  8. our doctors must now understand that things are no longer the same. Gone is the time when you were very few and now the numbers have grown. UNZA is offloading, APEX, CAVENDISH, CBU, and many more from outside universities. Learn to live with what you have. The next announcement may be scraping off of on call allowance after all it was integrated in your salaries. I feel for you guys. Our government is working and the policies in place should continue until the market is saturated. You are a nobble profession like any other.

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    • How I wish you child were in this situation. I pray you and yours do not fall sick to go after the services of my children in this predicament.

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  9. We can not say this is the way it happens .This has been happening for years.This is what promotes corruption.You get paid monthly.It is like you are employed without thought and then just like an after thought the Government has to pay you because you are there.What sort of planning is this in this day and age?

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    • Isn’t it illegal to withhold somebody’s wages for over 48 hours without their say so?

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  10. This has been happening from 1980. It looks like government has decided to live like this forever. We are slowly becoming Nigeria

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    • @Dimw’t Sharon, probably would not be saying that if the shoe was on your foot!

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    • Sorry, there is nothing in Panama for Zambia. Poverty continues for Zambians. Meanwhile, Lungu is dancing all the way to his bank, wherever it is.

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  11. All I can say is that people in Zambia have shallow feelings and minds reason been, they are busy singing and dancing PF songs and yet when they go home their children and relatives have no food, medicine, jobs a savings account. PF is here to finish Zambians and yesterday they voted for PF party. Stop complaining about PF or Lungu that , you voted for PF party and Lungu now pay the price bakoswe.

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  12. I think the ministry of health has failed to ran the institution. The ps does not know what he is doing. Honestly, this guy is is chewing money for nothing. I have information that close to another 45 trained doctors from foreign countries, which the Zambian government sponsored, 48 locally trained doctors, can’t be deployed for their internship and 155 nursing degree holders can’t be deployed and countless nurses with diplomas can’t all be deployed, yet this guy (ps)is running all over The country making huge allowances for himself instead of planning how to deploy these people. People are dying in large numbers for luck of these trained personnel. What kind of reasoning is this? The ps is failing the president and the country as a whole. Why can’t we replace him?

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  13. The UK is lifting the cap on overseas doctors. Soon it will suck in thousands of doctors from Africa. These doctors will soon be making a decent living in the UK.

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    • @Mukame, and so they should. When will Zambians learn that you only have one life – here and now? Why wait for seven months?

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    • Youre kidding right? Uk has entrance exams just like all countries and generally racist and don’t want doctors from African countries.

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  14. Nursing Teaching Law and now Medicine are poverty careers. People have no love of the profession but enrol in the hope of a government job. Back in the days, unza would offload 20 in med and law each and a 100+ in education. Now with all these universities, Russia, China, India, Cuba and other countries training our people, we have 200+ Drama graduating per year. 200+ lawyers fighting at ziale and 5000+ nurses and teachers. Everyone wants a government job because it’s free money, no KPAs and you can steal, loaf and get everything free. You can’t do that in private sector. That’s why u can’t work for grz and moonlight because you end up eating with both hands causing an artificial labour saturation when in actual fact no one’s reporting to work at grz but in private practice. Grz is…

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  15. The fact the new rule is when the doctor is an intern just in other countries interns are not paid they are considered as student though the are on temporal registration it only after full registration that is when they can be introduced on the salary. Thank you.

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    • That is other countries not Zambia! An intern in Zambia does 80% of the work .who sees you at the hospital when u get sick? Isn’t it an intern and u tell me that it’s fine if they aren’t paid.

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  16. THE MAJORITY OF ZAMBIAN’S AGREE P.F, & LUNGU IS TALKING ZAMBIA IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
    Donchi Kulila! Pamberi ne Chagwa! Pamberi ne P.F, Chapwa!!

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  17. Doctors and nurses are not just a salary, they are dedicated people with a true calling. Pay your doctors first, then your politicians!

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