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Health-care workers protest again

DOZENS of health-care workers protested in front of parliament on May 21 and 22 against a draft amendment to the Criminal Code which introduces sanctions for those who refuse to work during officially declared periods of emergency, calling it criminalisation of health-care workers, the TASR newswire reported.

DOZENS of health-care workers protested in front of parliament on May 21 and 22 against a draft amendment to the Criminal Code which introduces sanctions for those who refuse to work during officially declared periods of emergency, calling it criminalisation of health-care workers, the TASR newswire reported.

Marian Kollár, the head of the Slovak Medical Chamber, called the proposal unprecedented.
“It is aimed against us all in an attempt to criminalise and defame our status,” he said, as quoted by TASR.

The acting head of the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, Iveta Lazorová, said that nurses were already lacking in Slovakia and now the law would force health-care workers to confront the dilemma of whether they should remain in their jobs.

Some opposition MPs joined the health-care workers in their criticism of the law, and several organisations uniting the health-care employees have also supported their protests.

Despite the protests, MPs passed the law on May 22. It will come into effect on July 1. Organisations representing health-care workers said they would call on the president not to sign it into law, the SITA newswire reported.

The law comes in response to a situation that arose in late 2011, when Slovak doctors resigned en masse as part of a pay dispute and the government announced a state of emergency in an attempt to force them to work.

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