By PETER SICHALI
THE Ministry of Health owes resident doctors about K150 million, Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) President Brian Sampa has said.
Meanwhile, Dr Sampa said despite the shortage of doctors in the country, over 500 medical doctors were still unemployed.
He said the doctors would take drastic measures as their ultimatum ends this Friday.
Dr Sampa explained that the K150 million owed to doctors was in form of arrears, settling in allowance and gratuity dating back to 2015 and that the previous RDAZ leadership had been following up the matter but to no avail.
Dr Sampa also complained that some doctors holding senior positions were being paid salaries based on lower positions.
“We have many doctors being paid on lower positions when they are holding senior positions. For instance, a senior resident medical officer being paid as a junior resident medical officer,” Dr Sampa said.
Dr Sampa said there was also need for Government to employ the 500 unemployed doctors to address doctor-patient ratio which currently stood at 1 to 12, 000 people.
“The doctor patient ratio in Zambia is too high, it is currently at 1 to 12, 000 against the normal ratio of 1-1, 000 patients,” Dr Sampa said.
He said the country has a deficit of 3, 000 to reduce the doctor-patient ratio while more than 500 doctors were still on the streets.
“Government should immediately employ the 500 doctors on the street to cushion and reduce the gap,” Dr Sampa stressed.
And Dr Sampa said Government released K73 million to cater for 3, 000 nurses and 309 doctors employed in 2019.
He said however that it was unfortunate that 109 doctors have not been paid despite Government releasing the funds.
“We do not know where that money is because the ministry of Health is saying there is no money while the ministry of Finance is saying money is there,” Dr Sampa said.
He said the non-payment was frustrating the doctors and should be addressed.