News digest: Hospital doctors resign en masse

Matovič confidence vote delayed until next week. Cities cut back, tourist sites go dark as authorities look to save energy. Learn more in today's digest.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Here is the Thursday, September 29 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

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Thousands of doctors quit en masse

Almost 2,000 doctors at Slovak hospitals resigned en masse today in protests over pay and conditions, with union leaders warning more will quit in the days ahead.

A total of 1,948 hospital doctors had resigned by Thursday afternoon, according to Peter Visolajský, chairman of the Medical Trade Unions Association (LOZ). The doctors who quit are from 27 hospitals across Slovakia, and work in key specialist fields such as traumatology, cardiology, anaesthesiology, intensive care medicine, and others.

LOZ has warned some hospitals may be unable to function without these doctors.

Learn more about health care system in Slovakia:

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Feature story for today

Residents of Slovak cities and towns will soon elect their mayors, municipal councils, regional governors and regional councils.

For the first time, the municipal and regional elections are taking place on the same day: Saturday, October 29. Polling stations will remain open from 7:00 until 20:00.

Foreigners with permanent residence in Slovakia can vote and even stand for election themselves.

How to vote for your local councillors Read more 

Picture of the day

An Austrian police officer checks vehicles coming from Slovakia. As of midnight, both Austria and the Czech Republic introduced border checks amid a rise in illegal migration. Authorities say that the checks are a temporary measure that could be extended if needed.

In other news

  • Weather forecast for Friday and the weekend according to the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute. Friday will be cloudy and rainy across most of the country. Daily maximum temperatures will be between 11 and 16 degrees Celsius. Saturday will be mostly cloudy, and a mild increase in daily temperatures to between 13 and 18 degrees is expected. Sunday will be cloudy with occasional showers, temperatures again between 13 to 18 degrees.
  • The city of Spišská Nová Ves is preparing energy-saving measures. So far, the city heat producer Emkobel has allocated €400,000 for a project for a combined heat and power unit in a local housing estate. A feasibility study of a geothermal vent for heating is also being developed. The city began started saving energy in buildings and workplaces this summer, with measures such as not turning on air conditioning, excessive use of lights, and turning off computers introduced. If you want to reduce energy consumption yourself, here are 50 tips on how to do so.
  • Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský has recommended people in Slovakia get vaccinated against flu. Due to anti-pandemic measures during the last two years, incidence of seasonal flu has been low, resulting in lower immunity in the population. Head of the Slovak Epidemiological and Vaccinology Association Zuzana Krištúfková warned that Slovakia could face a similar scenario to that recently seen in Australia which has had its worst flu season in the last five years, with authorities reporting three times more cases than expected. Recently, Covid booster doses were opened up to people under 50s.
  • Lighting at Orava Castle has been turned off to save electricity. It will now be turned on only on special occasions such as during the Christmas holidays, and only at a certain time, says Máriá Jagnešáková, Director of the Orava Museum of Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav.
  • The reintroduction of border controls on the Austria-Slovakia border has so far had no effect on the 901 bus line from Bratislava to Hainburg.
  • The village of Dúbravy, Banská Bystrica region, has started turning off public lighting at night due to rising energy prices. Heating in public buildings is also only being turned on at certain times during the day.
  • According to the regular European Commission assessment on violations of legislation, Slovakia faces two proceedings in regards to environment. The country has to improve its anti-air pollution rules, and implement into national legislation all requirements of the 2016 Directive on reducing national emissions of certain air pollutants. Slovakia has two months to do so.

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