OPINION

University doctors

It is an open secret that the conflict between university doctors and the health minister is due to the fact that under the new settlement, the former stand to lose a significant proportion of their huge, tax-free incomes… Their students are the first victims. Second in line are the patients of university clinics. The nub of the matter is that Health Minister Alekos Papadopoulos’s law bars university doctors from working in private clinics and running private surgeries. The doctors’ central argument is that other academics are allowed practice privately. Without a doubt, this is a distinction between doctors (and other academics) which has been given the force of law. But the distinction is due to the nature of the medical profession and to the fact that clinical duties are interrelated with, and inseparable from, academic ones. This has been acknowledged in the law which thus introduces afternoon surgeries in hospitals – an institution that will guarantee university doctors an additional income. It will be a considerable revenue, even if it cannot be compared with the huge incomes ensured by the previous status quo… Things have come to a head and concerted government action is needed. All university doctors must provide their services at the university clinics of state hospitals. And this should be made crystal clear, even if it takes legislation to achieve. Sources close to the talks told AFP that neither side has so far budged in its views over a federal versus a two-state model solution. No real progress is expected until after the talks break for the weeklong Turkish holiday of Bairam at the end of February, the sources added.