‘Doctored’ deal angers medics

State hospital doctors are to go on a 48-hour strike next week after claiming that the text of an agreement they signed with Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on changes to their pay and working hours was altered before being included in a bill submitted to Parliament. The draft law proposes smaller rises in basic pay than the doctors and Avramopoulos agreed to. It also fails to mention that 2,500 new doctors will be hired by 2010. The ministry told doctors that changes were made because of the economic crisis but this failed to appease the medics. «We feel like we have been tricked because the money that we will get is much less than what we had agreed on,» Panos Papanikolaou, a neurosurgeon at the General Hospital in Nikaia, Piraeus, told Kathimerini. The medics will walk off the job on Thursday and Friday and have decided to unilaterally restrict their work schedule to 48 hours a week for specialized doctors and 58 hours for the rest. The move is expected to cause a shortage of doctors at duty hospitals from Tuesday.

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