The disaffection of Slovak doctors over proposed hospital privatisation appears not to have abated. Martin Kollar from the Doctors’ Trade Union Association (LOZ) announced on Wednesday that 3,249 Slovak doctors from 48 hospitals have declared in print their intention to resign their posts should the plans proceed.
LOZ have enumerated 10 of the most serious problems pressing on the Slovak health care system. These range from violations of the labour code to waste in hospitals. The chief concern however remains the plans to turn hospitals into joint-stock companies which would surely herald the demise of a Slovak public health system.
For current orthodoxy the concept of public health is based on an unacceptable principle: that you should care if the poorest in your community receives health care. If you can afford health care, why care about those who can’t? The same applies for education and social security remittances generally: if you don’t have children of school age or can afford private education, or if your own parents are financially secure; why should you care if the child in the next street receives an education or the retired widower across town is warm enough over winter? Welfare provisions for the most vulnerable in society are under attack across Europe and North America as governments bailout banks and balance budgets, ensuring that those least responsible for the current economic fracas bear the brunt of the cost.
Health Ministry spokesperson Katarina Zollerova’s previous attempts to secure doctors’ compliance with the promise of increased salaries appear not to be working as more doctors threaten resistance to the plans. Rather than putting their own interest’s first, Slovak doctors appear to be motivated more by a common social good – to the credit of the Slovak medical profession.