Doctors mull ministry offer

Doctors are today expected to respond to a proposal made by Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday that reportedly includes salary rises, less exacting work hours and the recruitment of additional staff at state hospitals. Doctors, whose representatives met with ministry officials on Monday, had threatened to stage a mass walkout unless authorities approve a collective labor agreement providing for more benefits and additional recruitment. The minister’s offer foresees salary increases ranging from between 210 euros and 420 euros, more frequent days off for doctors working duty shifts and the recruitment of 2,000 additional staff within the next year. According to Avramopoulos, these hirings will cost around 130 million euros, a sum that ministry officials said had been set aside. Doctors describe staff shortages at state hospitals as «dramatic.»