FIVE hospitals located in the biggest towns in Slovakia joined protests by doctors across the Visegrad Group (V4) region. Their aim was to bring attention to problems in the four countries’ public health-care systems, the SITA newswire reported.
The F. D. Roosevelt Hospital in Banská Bystrica, Žilina Hospital, the University Hospital of Louis Pasteur in Košice, the University Hospital in Bratislava - Kramáre and the Teaching Hospital in Prešov, all took part in the protests, whose motto was “A Sick Health-Care System Threatens Everyone”. The doctors called on Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská to deal with the problem of non-observance of the rules in the Labour Code and to bring an end to the so-called silent tolerance of various non-standard solutions used by hospital managements regarding overtime worked by doctors.
“Long-term tolerance of such conditions is unbearable since exhausted doctors are not good for patients,” said Peter Blaško, head of the LOZ doctors’ union branch in Žilina, as quoted by SITA, adding that if Slovakia wants to resolve the poor state of its health-care system, it should deal with the lack of doctors in ways other than mere “changes to the Labour Code and juggling of paragraphs”.
During the protest the local trade unions announced that members of LOZ will not submit mass resignations to their employers at the end of the year, as hundreds of doctors did one year ago as a form of protest, with Blaško explaining they “do not want to worsen the situation before the end of the year, mostly [because] the Slovak public does not deserve it in these hard times”. Yet, Blaško warned that the union had collected several termination notices from hospital doctors, which they are ready to use.