Doctors held a symbolic protest strike yesterday organised by the Slovak Medical Union of Specialists against salaries and how the health service is run, closing their doors to the public for an hour between 1-2 p.m.
The strike received a lot of solidarity from various hospitals, with small support strikes, and from the Slovak Medical Chamber, as well as from a group of citizens petitioning for the medical workers. These petitioners plan a special protest throughout the country on 23 March, calling on everyone to wear only red or white on what they are calling Red-White Day.
Health minister Ivan Uhliarik was angered by doctors putting patients’ health on the line, while he is in favour of medical workers receiving higher salaries. Uhliarik said the government had inherited a rundown health service from the previous government and that through cuts of around EUR 80 million p.a. funds can be generated for better pay conditions.