Minister hopes medics will no longer have to work several jobs

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The new Latvian Minister of Health, Līga Meņģelsone (United List) told Latvian Radio January 2 that she hoped in future medics would not need to hold down several jobs in different institutions as a norm.

In an interview on Monday, the minister said that she wants to change the salary model in the national healthcare system this year, switching to full-time payment. "It's a big change, but it's for the benefit of doctors. Not just a system of groups related to diagnoses, but a full-time payment model," Meņģelsone said.

The new model would provide that doctors will no longer need to work in several different workplaces. This will mean less risk of burnout, and less time wasted traveling from one location to another, she said.

The minister admitted that the new model will require a lot of funding, but that negotiations are already underway in the government to secure financial backing.

Meņģelsone previously stated that 55 million euros are needed in next year's budget to raise the salaries of doctors.

Doctors have been demanding salary increases for a long time. The Latvian Health and Social Care Workers' Union (LVSADA) submitted two strike demands to the Ministry of Health (MoH) on August 23 last year, demanding an increase in wages for health workers. 

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