Doctors Trade Union Association Announces Strike Alert

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Doctors Trade Union Association (LOZ) chair Peter Visolajsky and other LOZ representatives (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 5 (TASR) – Doctors Trade Union Association (LOZ) announced a strike alert as of Tuesday. They want to settle the situation radically if no action is taken against the collapse of the health care system, LOZ representatives told a news conference on the same day.

The trade unionists declared that if nothing changes, they might refuse overtime work in hospitals above limits or give mass notices. “We’ll choose the way in line with results of an inquiry we’re launching among hospital doctors all over Slovakia,” they added.

According to LOZ chair Peter Visolajsky, their further procedure depends on the government’s reaction. “At the moment we hope that none of the scenarios will come true and that the government will start addressing the problems of our hospitals,” he said. If nothing changes, their next steps should be decided by June. Visolajsky said that almost 3,000 doctors have already signed the declaration and are ready to refuse working overtime in hospitals above the set limits. Doctors should discuss the issue of potential mass notices soon.

Doctors trade unions stated that although they’ve been pointing to problems for a long time and held several talks with the government, the government isn’t dealing with the situation in the health sector. They warned that if it fails to come up with immediate solutions, the functioning of hospitals may be paralysed in the course of the year.

“We must do our utmost to ensure that our Government finds an effective way to save the Slovak health-care sector from a personal collapse. Not for us, but for patients,” said Visolajsky.

Doctors trade unions have eight proposals and requirements that they view as necessary if the condition of hospitals in Slovakia is to be improved. These concern chiefly hospitals’ financing, the reform of the health insurance system, remuneration of doctors and increasing nurses’ salaries.