Polish allied health professionals protest for better pay
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish healthcare staff dressed in black on Friday in protest against the health minister, who they say failed to keep his promise to improve wages and conditions for allied health professionals.
Protesters at a hospital in Poznań, western Poland. Photo: PAP/Marek Zakrzewski.
According to Monika Mazur of the National Radiotherapy Technicians Trade Union, the government failed to increase spending on healthcare, and hospital wait lists have gotten longer instead of shorter.
She said lab technicians, physiotherapists, psychologists, paramedics and nurses were protesting because “we feel cheated that the minister is not holding a dialogue with all medical professionals, just resident doctors”.
Polish Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski denied claims that he had neglected other medical professions.
He has been in talks with resident doctors since taking over the ministry early this year after his predecessor was sacked following a resident doctors’ protest, which included a hunger strike, late last year. The striking doctors had been supported by other medical professionals.
Szumowski, who on Friday attended a medical conference entitled "The medical national interest", said healthcare spending will increase from about 4.7 percent of GBP in 2018 to six percent by 2024, “which is a big burden on the budget as it is”.
The protesters want healthcare spending hiked to 6.8 percent within three years, as well as better pay and conditions. (vb)