Changes to doctors’ labor relations sow division

Changes to doctors’ labor relations sow division

The Health Ministry and doctors’ unions are taking up battle positions over proposed changes in the labor relations of doctors working in the national health system (ESY). The main point of contention is a provision in a bill expected to be tabled by the ministry in Parliament this week allowing ESY doctors to also run private practices.

The ministry’s effort to make ESY more attractive for doctors while providing citizens the opportunity to choose a doctor in the public health system is being opposed by hospital doctors’ unionists and private doctors, who want the provision withdrawn. 

Unionists are concerned that many patients will be forced to go to the private sector given shortages in the ESY, while private doctors claim there will be unfair competition. At the same time, several hospital doctors believe the bill will rectify an injustice, since university and military doctors already have the option to work privately.

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