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    Health workers' protest campaign to continue

    RIGA, Nov 7 (LETA) - After no agreement was reached on increasing health workers' wages in accordance with what is provided for in the law, nurses and physicians' protest campaign Lower the Flag, Light the Candle! will continue November 8 through 13 in all the largest hospitals, doctors' offices and other healthcare institutions in Latvia, representatives from Latvian Medical Association and Latvian Junior Doctors' Association informed LETA.

    Participating in the protest campaign will be the Junior Doctors' Association, Medical Association, Latvian Nurses' Association and the Trade Union of Health and Social Care Employees of Latvia, and the campaign is supported by all professional healthcare organizations and healthcare institutions.

    "Politicians must hear society not only before elections, but even more so now that they have been voted into Saeima or become ministers. Because the people have elected their deputies so they would take care of the country's priorities and people's interests. This is a major responsibility," stressed the Medical Association's President Ilze Aizsilniece.

    The Junior Doctors Association's board chairman Karlis Racenis emphasized that there were major problems in healthcare, and solving these problems could become a turning point in Latvian politics. "A new generation has grown up in the independent Latvia, which is no longer prepared with to put up with the 'how can we not promise' politics, which is why we are not ready to compromise and will continue to insist that we have the right to receive quality healthcare services," he said.

    Valdis Keris, chairman of the Trade Union of Health and Social Care Employees, also told reporters that no compromise had been reached during politicians and healthcare workers' meeting at Saeima today, therefore health workers' protests will continue.

    Saeima Chairwoman Inara Murniece told LETA today, when asked if financing for increasing physicians and nurses' wages could be increased to more than EUR 60 million, that the government and political parties were still working to ensure that EUR 60 million be allocated for raising wages in healthcare.

    After a meeting with healthcare workers' organizations today, Murniece apologized, on behalf of herself and the parliament, about the poorly thought out vote on the schedule for increasing wages in healthcare, as the schedule did not take into consideration the actual economic situation in the country.

    Murniece said that the vote was held at a time when GDP growth projections were far more optimistic than now. She stressed that increasing financing for healthcare was still a priority to Saeima and the government, and that they were doing everything in their power to allocate more funds to healthcare by taking them from other sectors.

    • Published: 07.11.2019 13:10
    • Ainars Leijejs, LETA
    • © The given news may not be republished in any way or amount, or otherwise used by the mass media or Internet websites, without written permission of LETA. If this provision is not observed, the matter will be taken to court pursuant to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia.
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