Union Chief Expects the Government to Offer Compromises
BRATISLAVA, November 30, (WEBNOVINY) — Head of the Medical Trade Unions Association (LOZ) Marian Kollar expects the government to offer compromises and subsequently reach an agreement ahead of his meeting in parliament with two highest constitutional officials in the Slovak Republic. He calls upon talks with a cool head. “The situation has escalated sufficiently…, the situation has to be calmed down, we have to approach the problem with a cool head but first of all we have to agree in such a way that citizens and medical workers could start live normal lives,” he stated Wednesday when arriving to parliament for talks with Cabinet members, the Medical Chamber, and Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrusovsky (KDH).
Kollar did not want to comment on information about the fact that doctors plan to report ill and not to come to work due to illness to avoid their work duty under the state of emergency announced in fifteen hospitals. He is, however, convinced that patients will have available emergency health care. “Not only doctor Kollar approaches every day his work and every patient as if he/she was his close person. I am sure that even today,” he stated.
According to Kollar, trade unionists still expect that Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik (KDH) will resign. Apart from Kollar, Uhliarik and Hrusovsky, the Wednesday’s meeting will also be participated by Prime Minister Iveta Radicova (SDKU-DS) and President of the Slovak Medical Chamber Milan Dragula.
At its extraordinary meeting on Monday night, the Cabinet of Iveta Radicova decided to declare a state of emergency in fifteen hospitals when an overwhelming majority of protesting hospital doctors rejected the offer of a pay rise of 300 euros and refused to withdraw their notices that run out at the end of the month. Based on information provided by hospital directors by Tuesday, November 29, 2 p.m., the Health Ministry registers 800 withdrawn notices by doctors from the overall number of originally filed 2,400. The Medical Trade Unions Association has four demands on the government: to observe the Labor Code, change the system of health care funding, stop transformation of hospitals to joint-stock companies, and increase wages of health care employees.