19:09 / 02.08.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Doctors say meeting with Health Ministry representatives failed to produce results

Doctors meet with Health Ministry officials

Doctors meet with Health Ministry officials

Foto: Robert Anic / PIXSELL

Doctors have made a series of demands regarding the salaries and their “on the job” status. Doctors say that they are not being adequately compensated for overtime work and night shifts, rejecting a statement issued to the media by the Health Ministry claiming that their salaries rivaled those of top state officials.

Representatives from doctor's associations and the Health Ministry met in Zagreb on Tuesday to address a series of issues regarding their status and wages. The meeting failed to produce any concrete solutions, with a new round of talks scheduled for September.

Doctors left Tuesday’s meeting unhappy, noting that they weren’t provided with any concrete guarantees. The vice-president of the Croatian Medical Chamber, Vikica Krolo: "There aren't enough doctors, the ones we have are unhappy, and they expect action and not words, which is precisely what the minister has been promising. However, all of us doctors are tired of promises. We want concrete action, and we expect that action to begin immediately in September. If that does not happen, I am convinced that doctors will respond to this with their displeasure, and I think that this is already in the preparatory stages, especially among younger doctors."

However, the State Secretary at the Health Ministry, Tomislav Dubilić, feels that there is no reason for the doctors to be dissatisfied: "They shouldn't be unhappy, we've just had a very constructive meeting at which we have committed ourselves to certain conclusions. In the first week of September our working groups we resume with their work, so I don't know why they would be unhappy. During this government's mandate we have raised doctor's salaries, and everyone else’s, by more than 40 percent, we have resolved the issue of overtime work, and all other unresolved issues."

Part of the statement issued by the Health Ministry also advocated for an incremental but safe approach to changing the status of doctors.

EXCERPT FROM A STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH: "Solving the material and legal status of doctors is not being disputed, but we need to look at the broader picture in which we have an epidemic, inflation, and ongoing earthquake reconstruction in health care institutions. Under these circumstances, it would be irresponsible to promise quick solutions that may sound nice, but are unsustainable. Incremental and safe steps through legislative changes and upcoming reform measures at the personnel, financial and organizational level may be a difficult path, but the only one that brings long-term results."

Source: HRT

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