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Anger grows in Poland over hospital strikes

Anger grows in Poland over hospital strikes

WARSAW, July 2 (Reuters) - Protesting Polish doctors and nurses came under growing criticism over their two-month-old pay strike on Monday with patients' groups and media accusing them of putting lives at risk.

Families shouted abuse at medical workers when patients were shuttled between hospitals after staff said they could no longer care for them at the weekend. Although emergency services are still available, many hospitals are providing reduced care.

"It is a shame the sick are becoming hostages in a fight for money," said patients' group Primum Non Nocer in a statement on its Website, while adding that it understood the pay demand.

"Doctors, has Satan possessed you," read the headline in Poland's best-selling daily, Fakt. The mass market Super Express daily said "It's enough. Doctors you can't do this to us."

State medical workers feel left behind by big pay rises for other professions since Poland's entry to the European Union in 2004 stoked an economic boom. Emigration has also led to a tighter labour market and helped push wages higher.

"We have a right to strike like any other Polish citizen," said one striking nurse, adding the action would eventually benefit patients.

Growing demonstrations and hunger strikes by some hospital staff have increased pressure on the conservative government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, but he has so far refused to meet the demands for big pay increases.

Medical workers and unions met the health minister on Monday, but talks ended with no sign of a deal.

"We are willing to talk about everything, but not immediately, and without thought for economic consequences," Kaczynski told a news conference. "We are not going to let them terrorise us."


Reuters

Re: Anger grows in Poland over hospital strikes

State medical workers feel left behind by big pay rises for other professions since Poland's entry to the European Union in 2004 stoked an economic boom. Emigration has also led to a tighter labour market and helped push wages higher.



Just who has had these "big pay rises"?

Teachers and university lecturers . Nope

Re: Anger grows in Poland over hospital strikes

Quoting the Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski on the strikes in the health care sector: "Devils are very easy to identify, the faces can also be seen in the media." He also said that if someone "in some other capital" wanted to create a scenario to harm Poland, he could invent something like what is happening now.

Kaczynski continued by saying that the accusation is not aimed at doctors and nurses because "they are unaware ... but other devils are involved".

What country is he thinking of I wonder?

Re: Anger grows in Poland over hospital strikes

Let's be fair - they're taking the piss a bit now, aren;t they?

Re: Anger grows in Poland over hospital strikes

"Let's be fair - they're taking the piss a bit now, aren;t they? "

But a society without a National Health service free at the point of use, without properly paid Healthcare professionals, without access to appropriate medication is no kind of society at all.

In western Europe, it's far from perfect, but nobody begrudges Nurses a fair days pay for a fair days (difficult, tiring and often distressing) work.

Re: Anger grows in Poland over hospital strikes

But didn't they know about the pay before they decided to become nurses?

Re: Anger grows in Poland over hospital strikes

Yes and no. Most of the nurses camping out by the Prime Minister's residence are no spring chickens, they probably started nursing at a time when economics were very different here. For sure they never could have guessed that they, after 15 or 20 years of nursing would be earning less than a spotty 18 year old flipping 'burgers' at MacDonalds.

But for years, ever since Florence Nightingale's time, nurses have been cheated out of a decent wage due to their work being seen as a 'vocation'. They work very hard and it must be demoralising not to be able to afford a holiday.