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Hospitals do not have money for salary hikes

THE RECENT agreement to raise doctors’ salaries by 20 percent might mean serious trouble for the nation’s eight teaching hospitals, which say they will need millions more in funding to be able to keep their end of the deal.

According to the agreement, which was brokered on March 19, medical workers in state hospitals should receive a 10 percent raise in May and another 10 percent raise in December of this year.

But hospitals now claim this will cause them to go into debt, causing their assests to be seized or forcing them to make rounds of lay-offs, the daily Pravda wrote.

“I will have to keep to terms of the agreement, but it will be devastating for the hospital. Several years’ effort to lead the hospital towards a balanced budget has collapsed and a 20-percent hike will only mean debts,” Peter Biroš, director of the Prešov teaching hospital told Pravda.

Employees of around 20 hospitals went on strike at the beginning of April demanding higher wages, a halt to the transformation of hospitals into joint stock companies, and increased funding.

Representatives for the health care employees managed to achieve their first demand on April 19. Then, following negotiations with the Association of Teaching Hospitals, the Slovak labour union of health care employees achieved a 20-percent wage increase for this year.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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