Bratislava, March 2 (TASR) – The Slovak Medical Chamber (SLK) on Thursday expressed its displeasure at the fact that hundreds of doctors practising medicine at their own surgeries have been asked to make up a shortfall in sickness and old-age contributions to social insurer Socialna poistovna (SP), TASR learnt on the same day.
Up to 20 doctors gathered outside the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry in order to express their discontent with bills and penalties that in some cases have racked up €20,000.
“We’re small in number, but virulent,” said SLK president Marina Kollar, adding that the doctors wanted to meet the ministry’s head Jan Richter.
With Richter currently in Brussels on business, the doctors left an open letter for him. Ministry spokesman Michal Stuska said that Richter has been aware of the problem and would respond to the letter.
In fact, the two sides have been exchanging letters for around a year now. Doctors have asked for their debts to be forgiven, which was rejected by Richter, who contended that “this would give an advantage to a particular group of people”. The doctors are now suggesting a “general pardon”. This, however, requires an impact analysis, according to the ministry.
The debts accumulated when doctors working in their own surgeries retired or began to operate officially as limited companies but failed to terminate practitioner’s licences that also happened to give them the status of sole traders. Therefore, unbeknownst to them, they continued to be viewed as sole traders by the law and were supposed to continue to pay the contributions.
“The consequences that they must bear now are too severe, especially given that they had no incomes in respect of the licences, delivering on their duties in respect of contributions as employees of their own limited companies,” said Kollar, claiming that their default on the payments was unintentional.
He noted that they have also contacted SP, only to see their requests rejected.