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Hospital crisis continues; over 1,200 doctors are now unemployed

LAST-MINUTE talks between the Medical Trade Unions Association (LOZ) and representatives of the government last night failed to achieve a breakthrough and all the doctors who had not withdrawn their resignation notices before midnight on November 30 are now unemployed. Their former employers, the state-run hospitals, are now working under a state of emergency.

LAST-MINUTE talks between the Medical Trade Unions Association (LOZ) and representatives of the government last night failed to achieve a breakthrough and all the doctors who had not withdrawn their resignation notices before midnight on November 30 are now unemployed. Their former employers, the state-run hospitals, are now working under a state of emergency.

The number of doctors who are now unemployed as a result of their mass resignation as part of a labour dispute is 1,226, according to the Health Ministry. At the beginning of the protest action over 2,400 doctors out of around 7,000 working in Slovak hospitals filed resignations to support the four demands voiced by the LOZ, among them pay rises and a halt to the transformation of hospitals into joint-stock companies.

The talks between LOZ head Marián Kollár, Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský, mediated by the head of the Slovak Medical Chamber, Milan Dragula, lasted nine hours.

Uhliarik offered to resign if he “was in the way of the agreement”, he said as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The ministry reported that on the evening of November 30 all hospitals in Slovakia were able to provide emergency health care at least, based on state-of-emergency or alternative – so-called Plan B – arrangements.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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