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Health care is one of the most frequent topics in the Slovak society.

Brussels (Belgium), 29.10.2012

Monday 29 October 2012

Public finances deficit and funds lack are the most serious problems in our country in all fields. Low salary level and high unemployment - nearly 14 % - cause public finances lack and funds lack of health insurance companies as well.

Low income of health insurance companies on one side, mainly the biggest one which associates about 3 million persons and unceasing price increase of all drugs, health material, energies, gas and water on other side are the basic problems in Slovak health care sector.

Concerning health personal salaries the situation is not satisfactory. Last quarter of last year Doctors´ TU organized a protest activity for changes in structure, organizing and funding of health sector including increasing and guaranteeing doctors´ and dentists´ salaries in public hospitals. 2400 of them gave mass in their notice. Lot of hospital words function was endangered. Memorandum signed between the Government and Doctors´ TU and law guarantee concerning stop the hospitals privatization and as well as the guarantee of minimum salaries for doctors and dentists in hospitals according their education, training and qualification level and experience adopted in the Parliament in December last year was a great success. 1200 doctors canceled their notices.

This was an inspiration for the nurses. Professional nurses organization started several negotiations with the Minister of Health, Government and Health committee of the Parliament . The Chamber of nurses and midwifes organized several mass and collective protest activities in the hospitals, too. The Parliament adopted several legal measures for nurses in working conditions, salaries and training field. In working conditions field the Labour Code was supplemented – for instance a nurse from the age of 50 can work in a night-duty only with her preceding approval; in salaries field there was adopted a minimum hour tariff salary for nurses and midwifes according their qualification and experience from 640 to 960 € from the 1st of July and in training field all health care workers will get 5 paid free days for the training during one and every year. At present there is a very serious situation relates the nurses´ salaries increasing. The Constitution Curt blocked the force of legislation. Only a few number of nurses have got higher salaries from July, most of them were forced to sign a contract addition by which they are only partly nurses, in rest they do paperwork. Last month the Chamber organized a protest meeting in front of the Constitution

Curt to call attention to solve the situation very soon because there is a fear of nurses´ mass leaving abroad. It is necessary to mention, that the exodus of the health care workers continues. Low salaries, bad working conditions and health care and social services organizations´ liquidation caused that many doctors and nurses, mainly young, have gone abroad. Mainly in the public hospitals and out-patients departments there work lot of doctors in pensionable age.

The Confederation of Trade Unions of the Slovak Republic negotiated the Collective agreement of the higher level for 2012 year in December last year without tariff salaries increasing. There were realized several consultations and bargaining meetings to find funds in the state budget but bad situation in public finances caused we have not been successful. 3 bargaining meetings concerning the Collective agreement of the higher lever for workers in civil and public administration for 2013 were realized. There is an agreement concerning the week working times shortening to 37 and half hours, one week more leave and the supplementary pension insurance contributing for all employees in civil and public administration. The Minister of finance confirmed there is no possibility in state budget for 2013 to salary increasing for 350 000 civil and public workers. The worst situation is in education sector. On the 13th of September Slovak trade union of workers in education and science organized the strike – nearly 90 % of schools were closed. They wanted to raise the salaries by 10 % and to increase the education sector and science funding. The ministry´s new proposal is increasing by 5 %. TU EC has not accepted this proposal and it is organizing next strike. There will be held from 25th of October the unlimited strike of all pedagogical and non-pedagogical workers to reach above mentioned claims. Sectoral trade unions affiliated in the Confederation are weighting the possibility to organize mass and common protest activities during the Parliament session concerning the budget adopting.

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