Today health minister Ivan Uhliarik from coalition party KDH made an appeal to doctors not to be swayed by trade unions that the plan to convert hospitals into joint stock companies is grounds for submitting a mass resignation.
Uhlarik said trade unionists should stop scaremongering their colleagues and patients about the planned transformation, while addressing those doctors who have joined the mass resignation campaign to consider their decision very carefully, saying they should not let themselves be conned into believing that the transformation of hospitals will make things worse in hospitals. He assured doctors that hospitals fully-owned by the state would not be privatised and that the process is intended to resuscitate the debt-ridden health service.
The campaign essentially meaning “Thanks and goodbye” was launched in May by doctors’ trade union LOZ and the petition has already been signed by around 3,300 doctors from almost 50 different hospitals. Uhlarik reaffirmed his stance that he does not believe that “educated and intelligent” doctors would actually hand in their notice and he even invited them to visit the already transformed hospital in Poprad to see for themselves how it is working.
Yesterday the trade union LOZ called on Prime Minister Iveta Radicova to keep her promise and hold talks with them in an effort to reach an agreement with doctors. The union has four basic demands: to respect the Labour Code, change the system of health service financing, halt the transformation of hospitals and hike of doctors’ salaries. They want all four conditions to be met.