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Health Minister Uhliarik says he respects doctors' protest but disputes some statements

Slovakia’s Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik said on March 23 that he understands and respects the Red and White Day of Protest organised by specialist doctors but does not agree with some of the doctors’ arguments, the TASR newswire reported. "Everybody has the right to protest. I'm sorry to say, however, that many of their statements aren't true. Our reform really isn't about privatising anything or making health care subject to payment," said Uhliarik after a government cabinet session, as quoted by TASR.

Slovakia’s Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik said on March 23 that he understands and respects the Red and White Day of Protest organised by specialist doctors but does not agree with some of the doctors’ arguments, the TASR newswire reported.

"Everybody has the right to protest. I'm sorry to say, however, that many of their statements aren't true. Our reform really isn't about privatising anything or making health care subject to payment," said Uhliarik after a government cabinet session, as quoted by TASR.

The minister said the goal of the health-care reform is to bolster the sector financially and to allocate money to hospitals in an effective manner, noting that this means that there is a need to increase payments to hospitals that would prevent them from running into debt and allowing them to increase their employees' salaries.

The Slovak Specialist Physicians Union (SLUŠ) called on the public to show its disapproval of the current situation in health care by wearing red and white clothing on March 23, attaching ribbons of the same colours to their cars and balconies and going for walks on the streets of their locales wearing these colours. Specialised doctors stopped providing health care for an hour on March 9 as a protest. The head of SLUŠ, Andrej Janco, stated that doctors would continue their protests.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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