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IN SHORT

Doctors expect 30 percent pay rise next year

SPEAKER of Parliament Pavol Paška and Health Minister Ivan Valentovič have told the Doctors' Trade Union (LOZ) labour group that salaries in the health sector will increase considerably next year.

LOZ Chairman Marian Kollár reported that the officials were considering a 30-percent pay raise, although an increase of this size would cost the ministry an additional Sk2 billion.

Next year, the government has promised to pay higher premiums to health insurers to cover costs accrued by state policyholders , which will cost an additional Sk2.1 billion.

The LOZ says that higher salaries are the only way to stop the exodus of health care workers to other countries, where they receive far higher salaries than in Slovakia.

According to Kollár, the situation with hospital staff has reached a crisis. Since the beginning of the year, he said, 280 doctors have left Slovakia for the Czech Republic, while many others have moved to Austria and Great Britain.

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