Pellegrini Opens Extraordinary Session on Health and Education

Extraordinary parliamentary session with focus on health care and education (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 11 (TASR) – Parliamentary Chair Peter Pellegrini succeeded at the third attempt to open an extraordinary parliamentary session focusing on education and health-care, as 138 legislators voted in favour of the session’s programme, TASR learnt on Thursday.

The extraordinary session of Parliament was initiated by 35 MPs, who find it important to discuss these issues before the general election on March 5.

The education part of the session is supposed to end with a resolution expressing serious concern over the Government’s long-term ignorance of problems in the education sector. “This situation resulted in a wildcat strike by educators that was launched on January 25, 2016,” stated the Opposition. The House is also supposed to express its support for teachers and other employees of the school sector whose demands, according to the Opposition, are well-founded.

The draft stated that Parliament should point to the fact that education is one of basic pillars of every developed country, but the Slovak school sector suffers from acute underfunding. Opposition MPs also want the Government to hold talks with representatives of the Slovak

Teachers Initiative (ISU) as soon as possible and to adopt satisfactory measures to end the teachers’ strike and improve the situation in the Slovak school sector. Teachers want the reintroduction of the option of acquiring credits via verifications of their ability, the scrapping of a seven-year validity cap on credits and a resumption of the possibility to acquire credits via extended study, study abroad and creative activities.

The Opposition hopes that the health part of the special parliamentary session will lead to a resolution stressing the need to observe patients’ rights and to provide full health care in the current difficult situation. With regards to the interests of patients and the protection of their rights, the Opposition emphasises the need to hold talks on nurses’ justified demands and to adopt strategic measures aimed at stabilising their professional and social status. “The social and moral significance of nurses must also be rewarded with a fair salary and dignified working conditions in all types of health-care facilities,” reads the draft resolution.

Parliament is further supposed to state that the health-care sector’s debt is constantly deepening, thereby endangering the smooth running of health-care facilities. The Opposition expects the House to point to serious suspicions concerning the mismanagement of public resources in the health-care sector, which has a negative impact on the quality of health-care services.

In view of the rights of patients and the need for adequate remuneration for nurses, the House is supposed to ask the Government to adopt measures resolving this critical state as well as long-term and strategic solutions concerning the professional and social status of nurses.