Latvian healthcare workers plan industrial action for November

In the hope of getting more funding for the medical profession, healthcare workers will hold a meeting and a picket at the Saeima on November 7, journalists were told by representatives of medics' unions October 29.

The picket will not technically count as strike action as it will involve doctors, nurses and other staff who have applied for unpaid leave at their workplace. Nevertheless it will result in the cancellation of operations and may have an affect on the provision of medical services.

The number of projected participants has not yet been finalised, with medical organizations promising to clarify the number by the end of this week, but representatives said the demonstration could be several hundred strong and that the response among medical professionals is currently high.

Before the picket, on November 5, medical organizations are planning a meeting with President Egils Levits, so it is possible his intervention could help avert the picket. If not, further protests are planned in the run-up to the final Saeima budget debate, likely to take place November 13-14. 

“For the first time, the entire health industry is united! Doctors, doctors' assistants, nurses, sanitarians, midwives, pharmacists are ready to stand and fall for one another because we face the devastating consequences of long-term lack of funding in the health care industry,” President of the Society of Pharmacists Dace Ķikute said.

 

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