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Doctors expect 30 percent pay raise as of next year

SPEAKER of the Parliament Pavol Paška and Health Minister Ivan Valentovič guaranteed the Doctors' Trade Unions (LOZ) that salaries in the health sector would increase considerably as of next year.

LOZ chairman Marian Kollár said that officials were considering a 30-percent pay raise. However, an additional Sk2 billion in the ministry’s budget would be required to increase salaries.

Next year the state promises to pay more to health insurers for its policyholders, which would mean an additional Sk2.1 billion pouring into the system. Kollár said, however, that other funds were also being sought in order to ensure that salaries are increased. According to Kollár, these could include the internal reserves of health insurers, SITA wrote.

LOZ insists that higher salaries is the only way to stop the exodus of health workers abroad where they have far higher salaries than in Slovakia.

According to Kollár the situation with hospital staff is catastrophic in Slovakia. Since the beginning of the year, for instance, 280 doctors have left Slovakia for the Czech Republic. Slovak doctors also often leave for Austria as well as countries such as Great Britain, for instance.

Kollár also said that if the ministry wanted to strictly observe the obligatory minimum personnel quotas in health facilities it would have to close a third of hospitals immediately.

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