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Medical chamber calls on trade unions not to put lives at risk

The chair of the Slovak Medical Chamber (SLK), Milan Dragula, has called on doctors’ trade unions as well as Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik to withdraw their demands in the ongoing labour dispute in the health sector and stop risking people’s lives, the TASR newswire reported on November 22.

The chair of the Slovak Medical Chamber (SLK), Milan Dragula, has called on doctors’ trade unions as well as Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik to withdraw their demands in the ongoing labour dispute in the health sector and stop risking people’s lives, the TASR newswire reported on November 22.

“We can see that we will not be able to give people even urgent treatment,” Dragula said, as quoted by TASR. “This is playing with people’s lives.”

While Dragula criticised the Health Ministry for misjudging doctors’ determination to resign in response to the transformation of hospitals into joint-stock companies, he also said that doctors should stop asking for unrealistic increases in their salaries. He announced that the SLK has already prepared its own ideas to halt the protests and plans to present these to the government.

Meanwhile, the situation in some hospitals threatens to become critical. Because of an impending lack of doctors – more than 2,000 have tendered their resignations and are due to leave their jobs at the end of the month – patients will have travel to other cities in which doctors have decided to withdraw their resignations, the SITA newswire reported. For example, in Žilina Region, where up to 125 doctors decided to leave their jobs, urgent cases will have to be treated in hospitals in Martin and Ružomberok. Head of the doctors’ trade unions Marián Kollár announced that the critical situation could spread to other cities.

A meeting of trade unions and state representatives including President Ivan Gašparovič and Prime Minister Iveta Radičová will take place on Wednesday, November 23.

“We want to inform them about the current situation, about our memorandum which reflects our requirements, and mostly about issues which, if we want to make an agreement, have to be passed as legislative measures,” Kollár said, as quoted by TASR.

Sources: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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