Doctors in Zilina Refuse To Work in Protest

Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenska had to head back prematurely from a meeting of EU health ministers in Brussels yesterday to deal with a crisis at Zilina University Hospital after doctors refused to do the standby emergency shifts.

Empty wards in Zilina? (c) Roman Whuke

More than half of the 228 doctors at the hospital refused to do the shifts, which means no service from the afternoon until morning, as a show of solidarity for the sacking of 18 colleagues due to spending cuts and in protest to military doctors filling their places.

Military doctors were brought in on Wednesday to cover the situation. The hospital management has made some progress in negotiations with the doctors, offering to stop the planned redundancies if the rest take a pay cut. Negotiations are still ongoing.




  1. Jimbo was lobbying outside the Hospital , with his `we are underpaid ` Strike banner …all recycled from the teachers failed neg effort .

  2. So they fight to get a pay increase last year, to need to take a pay cut to save a few of their colleagues? The healthcare system in Slovakia is the worst I have ever dealt with, from doctors too fast to sign a slip to see a specialist or to prescribe the first medication that they can think of to the refusal of service due to residency or health insurance coverage…. I will take the high paid American insurance and health care services over that in Europe any day! At least I know I am being taken care of and not pushed through the system.

  3. I had to read this twice – more than half refuse to work the night shifts, so why not get those who are prepared to work to do them? This appears to be a crisis of mismanagement.
    18 doctors have to go because thet can’t afford to pay them – did the strikers not realise that when they made their pay claim protests? or did they just assume that the money well was bottomless and their cosy lives would continue as normal.
    The use of military personnel to “break” a strike whilst still negotiating is going to put some backs up.

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