ACTION WILL BE TAKEN ON INDIVIDUAL DOCTORS FOUND WANTING – MO
MINISTRY of Health permanent secretary for technical services Dr Kennedy Malama has urged doctors to call off the go slow, warning that individual action will be taken against those found wanting.
And Dr Malama has announced that the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has approved five new COVID-19 vaccines for use in Zambia.
Speaking during the COVID-19 update, Tuesday, Dr Malama reminded the doctors participating in the go slow that the responsibility to do what was right for the people lied in their hands as individuals, and not as a group.
“Let me state that the Ministry of Health was caught aback with this go-slow of withdrawal of labour. We had engaged with the doctors and agreed on a follow up meeting which should have taken place on the 5th of June 2021. Those actions that you brought us through, you realise that they do not respect the resolutions we agreed between the Ministry of Health and them. We take this opportunity to remind the doctors and all those participating in this labour withdrawal that the responsibility to do what is good and right for the people and this country lies in your hands as individuals and not as a group. We are essential workers and withdrawing labour is not an option for us. And this is what differentiates health care workers, particularly doctors from any other profession,” Dr Malama said.
“All of us will be held accountable at individual level for our actions. And as the health sector we continue appealing to the doctors who have genuine concerns to reflect and refrain from withdrawing labour because the consequence on the Zambian people and on the patients are irreversible. Your grievances just like other public service health workers continue to be attended to by government. And let me reiterate that individual action on each and every person found wanting will be taken. This is not a threat but a reality according to the public service code of conduct and terms and conditions of service. I therefore urge our doctors, to call off the go slow while government is looking into their plight so that we can look after the Zambians.”
Dr Malama further advised the doctors to utilize alternative avenues that would help in addressing their grievances without risking the lives of Zambians.
“It is clear that government agreed during the engagement for the public service unions and also in our engagements as Ministry of Health with our health care workers that all these matters are genuine and they cut across all sectors, not only the health sector but the broader government. They have continued receiving attention even as I speak. Therefore, we cannot be holding the Zambian people at ransom even when these discrepancies are appreciated and continue receiving attention. We have a country to run. We cannot use the Zambian people, the patients who are vulnerable and anxiously looking for help and use them as tools to have our demands met,” he said.
“We are essential workers and ours is to ensure that no life is lost. Just remember that in the medical profession, there is no term as go slow, maybe other professions. You cannot tell a patient is an emergency not until you have taken history and investigated the patient. You can therefore not fully attend to a patient if you embark on any form labour withdrawal. All of us will be held accountable at an individual level for our actions. And as the health sector, we continue appealing to the doctors who have genuine concerns to reflect and refrain from withdrawing labour because the consequence on the Zambian people and on the patients are irreversible,”
Meanwhile, Dr Malama announced that ZAMRA had approved five new COVID-19 vaccines for use in Zambia.
He further noted that Zambia was now among the top six African countries in the region with high numbers in the last 24 hours.
“We are delighted to inform the nation that ZAMRA has now approved five COVID-19 vaccines for use in Zambia. This followed stringent review processes undertaken and riding on the World Health Organization Emergency Use listing of the vaccines. These ZAMRA approved vaccines are for Zambia are; Sinopharm, Jansen (Johnson & Johnson), AstraZeneca Covishield, AZD 1222 5 Korean AstraZeneca and the Pfizer Biotech. As you are aware these vaccines are part of the basket of vaccines approved by cabinet for Zambia to use on its people subject to Authorisation by ZAMRA,” Dr Malama stated.
“Today Zambia, finds itself in the top six countries in the region with high numbers in the last 24 hours. In the last 24 hours, as a country we recorded 558 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of the 8,070 tests conducted with a 6.9 percent positivity rate, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 95,821. Regrettably, we recorded one death in the last 24 hours, from the Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date to 1,282.”