Hundreds of Doctors Resign in Protest at Health Ministry
The protest of doctors by way of a collective mass redundancy has started to take shape as hundreds of doctors all over the country started handing in their resignations yesterday.
Although almost 2,500 doctors enrolled to the campaign, only some of them have actually taken the step of resigning and so will start to serve their two month notice periods from 1 October.
In Banska Bystrica region, for example, just over 50% of the 353 doctors at the University Hospital with Polyclinic who signed up to the protest actually took the step. At the University Paediatric Hospital in Kosice, only 49 of the planned 130 disgruntled doctors handed in their notice, while at Poprad Hospital just 46 of the 176 planned resignations were handed in. A total of 234 doctors resigned at the L. Pasteur Hospital in Kosice, which is around one third of all doctors at the hospital.
The Ministry of Health will negotiate with the doctors trade union organisation LOZ next Wednesday, but so far health minister Ivan Uhliarik has been stubborn to make any concessions. Among other things, doctors are demanding more money for healthcare, higher salaries and that the Ministry of Health stop its plan to transform hospitals into joint stock companies.
Thanks to the notice periods, patients will not feel the full impact of the move until December, but maybe by then some compromise will be reached between doctors and the Ministry of Health that will allow the doctors to stay in their jobs, without crippling further the already limping health service.