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Doctors’ salaries to increase

THE MEDICAL Trade Unions (LOZ) will agree to gradual salary hikes that stem from the existing memorandum that was signed more than a year ago between the government and the unions, LOZ confirmed after their January 16 meeting with Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská, the TASR newswire reported.This gradual salary increase is also to be guaranteed by law and is to come into effect as of August 2013. Overall costs for the hikes will exceed €30 million per year.

THE MEDICAL Trade Unions (LOZ) will agree to gradual salary hikes that stem from the existing memorandum that was signed more than a year ago between the government and the unions, LOZ confirmed after their January 16 meeting with Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská, the TASR newswire reported.
This gradual salary increase is also to be guaranteed by law and is to come into effect as of August 2013. Overall costs for the hikes will exceed €30 million per year.

Salaries are slated to rise in two stages: to 1.25-2.1 times the average salary in January 2014 and to 2.3 times the average salary for some doctors as of 2015, Zvolenská said, as reported by TASR.

“We’ve managed to arrive at an agreement under the terms of which we should proceed,” said LOZ head Peter Visolajský, as quoted by TASR. “For us, the guarantee comes in the new legislation as well as the signature of the prime minister on the memorandum’s addendum.”

Zvolenská and LOZ representatives agreed to hold further negotiations over the issue of overtime work.
Doctors’ representatives are strongly opposed to the Health Ministry’s proposal to make it illegal for doctors to refuse to go on duty during a state of emergency declared by the Slovak government.

Offenders could face either a €1,500-€3,300 fine or even imprisonment if during this period a patient suffers harm or dies. This is how the Health Ministry seeks to prevent a repeat of the situation in late 2011 when doctors went on sick leave en masse – providing each other with ‘notes’.

“With respect to the bevy of reports about multiple phoney sick leaves, we’ve included in the law that dodging such a duty becomes a crime, punishable by a fine or even incarceration if there is harm to someone’s health,” Zvolenská told TASR after the tripartite session on Monday, January 14, adding that if there are fatalities, the punishment can be much stricter.

“Measures like this do not contribute to social peace. I do not think it is helpful when things are addressed by force. We prefer dialogue, instead,” Visolajský responded to the ministry’s initiative.

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