The Medical Trade Union Association (LOZ) agrees with the government's offer of an additional increase in doctors' salaries. However, it asks for an increase in the coefficient for years of experience to 0.03 times the average wage.
The head of the union, Peter Visolajský, announced that if the government accepts the condition and presents solutions to the other seven demands, they are willing to agree. The union's offer lasts only until 30 November. "The LOZ backs down from its demand for 2.8 times the average wage for a certified doctor and accepts the government's proposal for 2.5 times the average wage in the national economy. The Union is also backing down from its demand for 1.7 times the average wage for a non-certified doctor and accepts the government's proposal for 1.4 times the national average. The LOZ retreats from its demand for 0.05 times the average wage per year of experience and proposes 0.03 times the national average wage for a certified or uncertified doctor, with a limit of 30 years of experience," Visolajský said. He stressed that this is the only concession the medical unions are willing to make. "We will not give in on the other seven demands, except for wages, and we demand that the government resolve them," Visolajsky declared. If the government does not conclude an agreement, the LOZ will insist on the original demands. "If the government rejects our demands, it will take full responsibility for providing healthcare from December 1," Visolajsky concluded.
The doctors’ demands include:
- solution to the insufficient payments for state insured persons
- renovation of state hospitals
- stabilisation of the network of outpatient clinics - both general and specialised, for which Slovakia does not have and will not have enough specialists for years
- comprehensive support for outpatient clinics at a time of energy crisis
- stabilisation of the number of doctors and other health professionals, with an analysis not only of the current situation but of the avalanche of retired people currently leaving, with the prospect of a further massive decline in the coming years
- radical changes in the education system, especially for senior doctors and nurses
- solution to the investment debt in the health sector
- setting realistic prices for health care services to cover all the costs necessary for the operation and development of health care facilities in both inpatient and outpatient settings
LOZ's offer is conditional on the government accepting the other seven demands in the joint memorandum in a written commitment by the government, ensuring that all necessary bills are passed in the National Council within two weeks, and ensuring that the working and salary conditions of the doctors who have handed in their resignations are included in their employment contracts.
At the beginning of October, more than 2,100 doctors from 31 Slovak hospitals handed in their resignations. Medical trade unionists explained the resignations by their disagreement with the current conditions in the system. They insisted on the fulfilment of eight demands they proposed to improve the situation in the sector. The last time the unions negotiated with the government on Wednesday (16 November), no agreement was reached.
The negotiations continued on Monday.