NEWS IN SHORT

Nurses’ petition considered by MPs

PARLIAMENT has acknowledged a petition organised by Slovak nurses which was signed by 243,000 people. MPs pledged to fulfil several points that the nurses raised in the document, and called on the government carry out the tasks laid out in the petition thoroughly. The document focuses on seven areas: salary increases, a lower retirement age (at 58), supervision of how personnel norms are met in health-care facilities, changes in the way that health care is provided at social service facilities, support for the ongoing education of nurses and midwives, out-patient care and the setting up of an independent nursing department at the Health Ministry.

PARLIAMENT has acknowledged a petition organised by Slovak nurses which was signed by 243,000 people. MPs pledged to fulfil several points that the nurses raised in the document, and called on the government carry out the tasks laid out in the petition thoroughly.

The document focuses on seven areas: salary increases, a lower retirement age (at 58), supervision of how personnel norms are met in health-care facilities, changes in the way that health care is provided at social service facilities, support for the ongoing education of nurses and midwives, out-patient care and the setting up of an independent nursing department at the Health Ministry.

MPs did not agree on two key demands – an increase in the minimum hourly wage and earlier retirement, the Sme daily reported. The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), one of the four governing parties, said it was planning to pass a special law, and promised to announce the start of preparations to draft it in September. But Smer, the main opposition party, said it plans to prepare a draft law during the current parliamentary session and include all the nurses’ demands in it, Sme reported.

In general, the ruling coalition opposes the earlier retirement of nurses, but Viliam Novotný from SDKÚ told Sme that his party is willing to support a proposal that all nurses older than 50 will not be required to work nightshifts and overtime.

“If that doesn’t happen, we will take sterner steps in October,” nurses’ leader Maria Lévyová said, as reported by Sme.

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