Croats who turned up to the doctors on Wednesday morning were in for a longer wait than usual after 70% of the nations doctors and nurses began strike action at 7am. People have been advised to avoid going to the doctors, unless the matter is urgent.
The Ministry of Health have stated that they will monitor the situation throughout the strike, which may last up to 7 days, and assured the public that they will take all necessary steps to make sure people’s health would not be endangered. A skeleton staff, typical of Sunday’s or public holidays, is reportedly operating at most hospitals around the country. Croatian Doctors and nurses syndicates are trying to negotiate a new collective agreement with the government, but talks have broken down twice, leading to today’s strike action.
Minster of Health Rajko Ostojić, who was convinced before the last meeting that a settlement could be reached, said that Croatian doctors and nurses were less paid than their colleagues in western Europe, but said they were better paid than the majority of doctors and nurses in Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland.