Polish doctors suspend hunger strike, talk to PM
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish resident doctors have suspended an eight-day hunger strike pending a meeting with Prime Minister Beata Szydło, according to the deputy head of a doctors’ union.
Protesting resident doctors count the hours of hunger strike. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell.
The announcement came late on Tuesday after a meeting with Senate Speaker Stanisław Karczewski and a member of Szydło’s Cabinet, Henryk Kowalczyk.
Resident doctors were set to meet Szydło on Wednesday afternoon. Twenty of them started a hunger strike last week over pay and conditions.
According to the resident doctors, before he was appointed health minister, Konstanty Radziwiłł from the Law and Justice party promised them double the national average wage, which is PLN 4,100 gross, and triple for specialist doctors.
But Daniel Łuszczewski, a representative of the doctors on strike, said resident doctors earn between PLN 2,200 and 2,500 after tax – roughly PLN 3,000- 3,500 gross.
According to Łuszczewski, a pay raise is needed to stop Polish-trained doctors from leaving the country for more profitable work abroad.
The doctors, who have occupied the foyer of a major paediatric hospital in Warsaw are also demanding increased funding for public health care, better working conditions, less red tape and shorter waiting lists. (vb/pk)