Thursday, December 01, 2011

Is there a doctor in the house?

Doctors in Slovakia are angry. They say they're underpaid and under-appreciated. So, some of them have opted to go on strike. And as the Czech News Agency CTK reports that means the Slovak government is calling on their neighbors in the Czech Republic to come to the rescue.
The Czech Defence Ministry is checking whether it can send some military doctors to Slovakia. Such a step would have to be approved by the Czech government, however.
"We are willing to provide military medical aid to the friendly neighbouring country in need based on a government decision," Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra said.
Martin Engel, leader of the successful Czech trade-union sponsored campaign Thank You, We Are Leaving, said yesterday Czech unions will call on Czech doctors not to go to Slovakia as strike-breakers.
"We will make a statement on the situation in Slovakia and call on Czech doctors not to go anywhere as strike-breakers," Engel said.
Health Ministry spokesman Vlastimil Srsen said the ministry has received the Slovak request, but will not force anyone to leave for Slovakia.
Srsen said he asked hospital directors to inform their doctors of the Slovak request.
Engel helped Slovak colleagues organise their protest in support of higher pay and other demands. He said Czech trade unions support the Slovak hospital doctors' demand of a just remuneration.
The Slovak government appears to be in a no-win situation here. Deny the doctors the changes they want and it risks losing credibility with the people. Give in and therefore increase the prospects of other unions considering the same action. 

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