SLOVAKIA’S Constitutional Court issued a ruling on July 11 that overturns a law that had authorised an increase in the minimum salaries of nurses and midwives. The ruling came in response to a motion filed by the General Prosecutor’s Office seeking review of the law’s constitutionality, the SITA newswire reported.
The request to the prosecutor’s office was initiated by the Slovak Medical Chamber, which had been disputing the constitutionality of the law. The prosecutor’s office argued before the court that the law was unconstitutional because it covered only certain health-care workers, nurses and midwives, and that there was a lack of authorised funds available to pay the higher minimum salaries, SITA wrote.
The law ordered the payment of higher minimum salaries to nurses and midwives effective April 1, 2012, but some hospitals and private doctors avoided complying with the law by cutting the working hours of nurses or reclassifying them to lower-paid positions.
The Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives has contacted international organisations requesting assistance and the chamber’s president, Mária Lévyová, said the chamber is ready to file a motion with the General Prosecutor’s Office as well, SITA reported.
“I am asking myself whether we shouldn’t have taken harsher steps,” she stated, as quoted by SITA.