Medical Union strike expands

HOSPITAL staff in more than 10 cities, including Martin, Trnava, Banská Bystrica, Bojnice, Piešťany and Zvolen, decided today (April 10) to join the strike initiated by their colleagues in Bratislava, Presov, and Nitra during the weekend of April 6 to 9. The staff is calling for better working conditions and higher salaries.

The management of the Bratislava and Prešov Faculty hospitals has called the strike illegal and took it to court on April 7. A decision should be issued within 30 days.

Medical staff in Košice will decide this week (starting April 10) on whether to join the strike, the TASR news agency and daily Pravda wrote.

The first complaint in connection with the strike was delivered on April 7 to the Office for Supervision of Health Care (ÚDZS), alleging doctors - probably from the Children's Faculty Hospital in the district of Kramáre - postponed a
two-month-old child's operation date by three weeks. The office is now ascertaining whether the postponement was due to the strike, and whether the doctors acted in compliance with the law.

When commenting on the strike, President Ivan Gašparovič said it is a legitimate way for medical staff to express their dissatisfaction because emergency care will continue to be provided. "For this reason, I think it is legal. I wouldn't like to say whether the timing is right or not,though," he said.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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