NURSES and midwives wearing black gathered in front of Slovakia’s parliament building on May 17 to draw MPs’ attention to the working conditions and low salaries of medical staff. A petition titled 'If we don't care about ourselves, who will care for you?', signed by 240,000 people over the past two months, was presented to Speaker of Parliament Richard Sulík.
Mária Levyová, the president of the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives (SKSPA) told journalists that the nurses were very disappointed with Sulík's reaction. She said Sulík started the meeting by telling the nurses that the bus they had travelled in was blocking the access road to the parliament building.
“It isn't possible to react so light-heartedly to the demands of the Slovak people,” Levyová stated, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that she found Sulík's behaviour to be arrogant.
Viliam Novotný, the chairman of the parliament’s health committee, also met the representatives and assured them that their situation would definitely be taken seriously, the TASR newswire wrote. Novotný said MPs understand the demands of nurses and midwives and will make sufficient efforts to make sure that the petition does not end with parliament only acknowledging it and doing nothing more.
The demands in the petition include, for example, an increase in the hourly wage from the current rate of €4.50 per hour or less, and for retirement at the age of 58.
23. May 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff