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Health minister comes up with memorandum to avert doctors' protest

Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik has drawn up a memorandum proposal which he says should meet the demands of more than 2,000 Slovak hospital doctors who are currently due to leave their posts at the end of the month as part of a union-led protest, it was announced on Thursday, November 17.

Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik has drawn up a memorandum proposal which he says should meet the demands of more than 2,000 Slovak hospital doctors who are currently due to leave their posts at the end of the month as part of a union-led protest, it was announced on Thursday, November 17.

"In order to settle the situation I've worked up a memorandum that will also address the issue of doctors' salaries," the minister said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. According to Uhliarik, doctors could receive a pay rise of €300 a month as of 2012. He added that he was hopeful that doctors would agree to the proposal.

The memorandum, according to Uhliarik, addresses seven items, namely salaries, the transformation of hospitals into joint-stock companies, observance of the Labour Code, additional funding for health care, anti-corruption initiatives, the Ethical Code and the withdrawal of doctors' resignation notices.

"We insist that serious issues such as ensuring health care for patients can't be resolved through messages sent via the media. As we haven't received the proposal as yet, we can't take a clear stance on it," said Ján Sýkora of the Doctors' Trade Unions (LOZ). Sýkora also said that the ministry and LOZ would meet on Friday, November 18, to discuss the issue and added that LOZ had prepared a memorandum proposal of its own.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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