Doctors Happy, But Healthcare Still With Troubles

Yesterday parliament approved legislative changes that put a final end to the dispute with hospital doctors, with the halting of the transformation of hospitals and a two-phase hike in wages for 2012.

coalition still functioning somehow (c) NRSR

The legislative changes pleased head of the doctors union LOZ, Marian Kollar, who said they had finally achieved what they wanted, albeit partially.  The transformation of hospital into joint stock companies was a key issue, and after pressure mostly from opposition party Smer-SD, the transformation was abandoned.

The hike in salaries will be executed in two stages, with the first increase to 1.05 – 1.6 the average salary taking effect in January 2012. The second stage in July will hike them up further, then it will be up to the new government after the March 2012 elections to set salaries for 2013.

A sticking point is the EUR 30 million or so needed for the salary increases, with hospitals pointing out that if health insurers don’t provide them with extra money, they will face collapse.  The insurers are holding talks today with the Association of Slovak Hospitals.

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