Hospital services

Warnings on hospital services as doctors quit en masse

Nearly 2,000 have resigned and more are expected to hand in notice soon.

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Nearly 2,000 doctors in Slovakian hospitals resigned en masse today in protest over pay and conditions, with union leaders warning more will quit in the days to come.

A total of 1,948 hospital doctors had resigned by Thursday afternoon, according to Peter Visolajský, president of the Association of Medical Unions (LOZ), adding that more colleagues would do the same during the rest of the day and tomorrow.

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The resignations concern doctors from 27 hospitals in Slovakia – including faculties, universities, regional and private institutions – working in areas such as traumatology, cardiology, anaesthesiology, intensive care medicine, gynecology, among others.

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Key departments

“Bratislava’s big hospitals are unable to function without these doctors,” Visolajský said.

The mass resignations come amid demands for better pay and conditions in the healthcare system.

In February, the LOZ made demands for a series of measures to be taken to improve the functioning of the health system, in particular the need to tackle the financing of hospitals, the reform of the health insurance system and the increases salaries of doctors and nurses.

A proposal to increase doctors’ salaries is currently being discussed in parliament, but Visolajský said doctors had no choice but to resign and criticized Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarský (OĽaNO candidate) .

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In 2011, a similar mass resignation of doctors, as 1,200 resigned, led to a declaration of a state of emergency.