9 July 2012

Tanzania: Doctors' Strike Has Ended, Reassures Ikulu

Photo: Said Powa/The Citizen
Doctors strike (file photo): A deserted section of the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute in Dar es Salaam.

THE government has stressed that the strike by doctors has ended and that all those who have agreed to continue with their jobs have resumed work in public hospitals.

Responding to a query by our sister paper "Habarileo" on Sunday, the Director of Presidential Communications, Mr Salva Rweyemamu, said that this is not the time to bicker and instead we should all focus on the way forward because there is no strike to discuss about.

Mr Rweyemamu was reacting to reports that religious leaders in the country want to meet President Jakaya Kikwete to discuss about the strike by doctors and get to the bottom of the matter to find a lasting solution. He said that at the moment there is no strike to discuss about and that since the doctors started submitting their demands the government has never been hesitant to meet and talk to them of various issues of concern.

"Besides the negotiating committee formed by the government, the doctors have had an audience with President Kikwete and Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda. The government has never refused to meet with the doctors," he said.

He further said that it would seem wrong to use religious leaders to meet the president on the matter not only because it has ended but also the last time that the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, they declined to do so on grounds that he has nothing new to tell the doctors.

Mr Rweyemamu went on to say that it is also not prudent to use religious leaders at this juncture because all the times that the doctors wanted to meet government leaders, including the president, they had direct access and never had to go through other people or groups.

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