Thousands of doctors 'opt-out' of overtime deals amid protest
PR dla Zagranicy
More than 3,500 Polish resident and specialist doctors have “opted out” of deals which allowed them to work more than 48 hours a week, according to Poland's health ministry, amid an ongoing doctors' protest.
Photo: SquareSpace/Pixabay.com (CC0)
The health ministry said that some health care centres which saw a large number of its doctors opting out of overtime may face difficulties in staffing on-call shifts but assured that the situation was not “dramatic”.
Meanwhile, Łukasz Jankowski of the OZZL medical practitioners' union said his organisation wrote to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asking him to meet them for talks.
He added that more doctors would be opting out as the protest for better pay and conditions continued.
Health Minister Konstanty Radziwiłł said that the “doctors who organised this mutiny want to make work more difficult for hospitals and disrupt the continuity of patient care”.
But Jankowski said doctors did not want their workplaces to “collapse”. “People are just very determined, and see the sense in pressuring the government, to... increase financing”.
Last October, a number of resident doctors began a hunger strike in the foyer of a Warsaw paediatric hospital demanding their monthly pay be raised to PLN 9,200 (EUR 2,210), double the national monthly gross average.
Jankowski claimed that resident doctors earned PLN 2,200 net, roughly PLN 3,000 gross, and worked up to 80-100 hours a week.
The striking doctors had also demanded healthcare funding increased from less than 5 percent of GDP in 2017 to 6.8 percent of GDP by 2020 and to 9 percent by 2027, red-tape and queues to be cut, more medical staff, and better conditions.
The hunger strike was called off and striking doctors pledged to step up their protest by opting out of their deals to work more than 48 hours a week. (vb)