Not even another 9-hour marathon of talks yesterday between the doctors trade union LOZ and the government produced any progress in the ongoing head-to head, which has now put healthcare in Slovakia is in seriously bad health.
As of today, state-run hospitals throughout Slovakia have over 1,200 fewer doctors, who stuck to their guns and did not take back their notices. With over 2,400 resignations handed in initially, this can still hardly be seen as a victory for either side, and certainly not for the people who pay for it all, in more ways than one.
The state of emergency that the government put in place on Monday evening means that even those doctors who are now officially unemployed should still come to work to perform their duty to the country, but not all doctors are heeding this and some have already been detained by the police, who are delivering the calls to work in person to the doctors.
After several calls from various quarters for health minister Ivan Uhliarik to be dismissed or to resign, he has now said that if he is regarded as the obstacle to an agreement, then he will happily stand down.
The situation in many hospitals today is critical, while the government and minister Uhliarik hope that their Plan-B measures will be enough to ensure that the health and lives of patients is not threatened, but with them being turned away and operations being cancelled, that could prove hard to ensure.
The Czech Republic is ready to send in military doctors to help, with the government calling a special session for Friday to deal with it. Others might possibly be coming from in from Ukraine, but many of the 16 hospitals where a state of emergency has been declared are having serious problems, with operations being cancelled, patients being sent home or turned away. Nobody is quite sure yet how the situation will develop.