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No agreement reached to avert resignations of Slovak doctors

Resignations of about 2,000 doctors, who are protesting against the current situation in Slovakia's health-care system, will become effective as of December 1. Even though both the doctors and the government claim they do not want patients to suffer and have an interest in reaching a timely agreement, negotiations over the last weekend before the doctors plan to resign from the hospitals brought no results, the Sme daily reported.

Resignations of about 2,000 doctors, who are protesting against the current situation in Slovakia's health-care system, will become effective as of December 1. Even though both the doctors and the government claim they do not want patients to suffer and have an interest in reaching a timely agreement, negotiations over the last weekend before the doctors plan to resign from the hospitals brought no results, the Sme daily reported.

Prime Minister Iveta Radičová announced on Friday, November 25, that she was not going to negotiate further with the Medical Trade Unions Association (LOZ) and said she wanted the cabinet to turn directly to the doctors.

Beginning on November 28, all of the doctors at state-run hospitals can sign an addendum to their employment contracts which guarantees an increase in salaries by up to €300, as proposed by the cabinet. If any of the doctors who have filed a resignation notice sign the addendum they will be expected to be at work on December 1.

Doctors who have not joined the protest will receive the higher salary as of next year.

The ministry wants to collect these addendums on Monday afternoon, November 28, to determine which hospitals will be in potential need of the so-called B plan on December 1, Sme wrote.

The B plan involves what the cabinet said is an irreversible cancellation of some wards, deployment of military and private doctors, hiring of doctors from abroad and also closure of some hospitals as a last-resort solution.

The cabinet did not approve a state emergency for Slovakia, saying it will be declared only in specific hospitals where the B plan does not work. Sme wrote that the head of the medical trade unions did not want to say whether the protesting doctors will return to hospitals if an emergency is declared.

Source: Sme
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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