17:00 / 04.10.2021.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Healthcare workers revolt against mandatory Covid certificates

The fight against the coronavirus

The fight against the coronavirus

Foto: Ivo Cagalj/Zeljko Lukunic/Kristina Stedul Fabac/Hrvoje Jelavic / PIXSELL

Although not without expressing dissatisfaction, in most countries a new regime in the health care system has been introduced without major difficulties, by which employees must present a Covid certificate or get tested. And while the Independent Health and Social Welfare Union is announcing a review of such a decision, the Chamber of Nurses is distancing itself from members who have protested, backing mandatory certificates. Employees of healthcare facilities acknowledge that the new regulations will either force or persuade them to change their behavior. 

This morning, Minister of Health, Vili Beroš, was convinced of dissatisfaction with the new regime and announcements of resistance to the decision on mandatory Covid certificates in front of the largest national institution. Undoubtedly, he did not expect the revolt of dozens of protesters in front of Zagreb's Rebro Hospital, who booed him, after which police were called in.

“If you take away citizens' rights, it is up to you to prove that we also have a different choice. It is not up to us to prove what you've done. You must prove that you had to do this, because you took away our citizens' rights,” said one protestor.

“Citizens' rights are here. It is my task to ensure safety for all patients, but in the same manner for workers,” said Minister Beroš.

The director of the Rijeka Clinical Hospital Centre, Alen Ružić, stated that the new rules began in a peaceful way at that institution.

“I believe that we have started on time and ensured today, not only a peaceful morning in front of the clinical hospital centre, but also that all patients who had appointments for the hospital or for examinations, received their services,” said Ružić.

Only one employee of the Zagreb Clinical Hospital did not come to work today because he refused to get tested. A replacement was found for him. Healthcare professionals who do not have a Covid certificate will now have to be tested twice a week. The new regime will undoubtedly change the habits of workers, admitted the employees of the Sisters of Mercy and Rebro hospitals in Zagreb.

Meanwhile the president of the Independent Health and Social Welfare Trade Union, Stjepan Topolnjak, announced that he would defend the portion of members that oppose the new Covid regime.

“At the last session of our national council we adopted a decision to file for an evaluation of constitutionality for this decision by the Civil Protection Headquarters. The biggest problem for us with testing, for which we get calls from members and non-members, is the fact that it has been announced that after a month or two, testing will not be free. People are getting tested but they don't want to pay for it,” said Topolnjak.

New protests have been announced for tomorrow morning in front of some health care institutions.

Source: HRT

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