News 05 Dec 12

Macedonia's Striking Medics Vow to Resist Threats

Macedonian doctors staging a two-week-long strike say they will take more radical steps if Health Minister Nikola Todorov acts on threats to punish them.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje
 

The Independent Trade Union of Medical Clinics, which is heading the strike by medics, on Tuesday said they will erect tents in front of the Health Ministry, demanding Todorov’s resignation, if he acts on threats to punish the strikers.

The warning came after the ministry on Monday boosted inspections of clinics and urged unsatisfied patients to report medics who had failed to treat them.

“The inspections... are clearly intended to scare doctors from supporting the strike,” the head of the trade union, Dajan Stavric, said on Tuesday.

The striking doctors are angry about the Health Ministry’s new method of calculating their wages, which is based on the number of patients they have treated over the previous month. In addition, they want an immediate increase in basic wages.

Before sending in inspectors, Health Minister Todorov downplayed the importance of the strike, arguing that it was “politically motivated”, by the opposition, and lacked support.

“Patients are being left untreated…  so I will be forced to take measures very soon,” Todorov said at the weekend.

Medics said they remained defiant.

“As you can see, we are gathered here in our hundreds so that the minister can see us. It should also be clear that this strike is not political,” Stavric told a rally before the Health Ministry this weekend.

After being refused a meeting with the minister, the doctors now seek talks with the Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski. So far, he has remained silent about the strike.

Todorov, however, continues to insist that the strike is illegal and to deem its organizers irrelevant.

He has meanwhile launched talks with another, recently formed, parallel union, called “Mother Theresa”, which does not support the strike.

The parallel union emerged out of the blue in September, just as the strikers announced their intention to strike.

During the current strike only emergency cases are being treated in most public health facilities.

Support for the strikers has come from the Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers. The union has used a statement to express solidarity for the medics, encouraging them to resist pressure from the government.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

croatia-s-saudi-arms-sales-fresh-new-scrutiny-02-22-2017
22 Feb 17

Croatian Agency Backs BIRN’s Arms Investigation

Croatia’s statistics bureau has confirmed data showing that 2016 was a record year for arms exports to Saudi Arabia, despite claims by a ministry to the contrary.

22 Feb 17

NATO Black Sea Plans Cause Dissent in Bulgaria

22 Feb 17

Macedonia, Croatia Risk Trade War Over Wine

22 Feb 17

Montenegro on Alert Over New Cyber Attacks

Premium Selection

croatia-s-lgbt-community-spooked-by-nightclub-attack-02-21-2017
22 Feb 17

Croatia’s LGBT Community Spooked by Nightclub Attack

A recent attack on an LGBT club night in Zagreb rekindled fears of persecution and raised concerns that Croatia has not made as much progress on gay rights as some had hoped.

kosovo-s-mustafa-defies-tear-gas-and-resignation-calls-02-20-2017
21 Feb 17

Kosovo’s Mustafa Defies Tear Gas and Resignation Calls

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa told BIRN that his government has already survived street protests and tear gas attacks, and will ignore the opposition’s continued calls for early elections.

21 Feb 17

Croatia Profits from Syria’s Gruesome War