Although the project to transform 31 public hospitals into private companies has been shelved until after general elections next March, “doctors are continuing to resign”, headlines Pravda. Approximately 2,400 practitioners from the public sector are threatening to quit their jobs in protest against the Health Ministry project, which the Slovak Chamber of Doctors considers to be “a discreet privatisation” that will undermine working conditions.
The doctors are also demanding pay increases to raise their salaries to between 2,000 and 4,000 euros per month, and more public money for the health sector. “They are not content with promises, they want guarantees”, notes Pravda. The reform project will be the subject of an extraordinary debate in parliament, which has been scheduled for 11 November, on the initiative of Robert Fico’s SMER opposition party which, according to the Slovak Spectator, wants the reform to be definitively dropped.