The leaders of three doctors’ associations — the Croatian Medical Chamber HLK, the Doctors’ Trade Union HLS and the HZL association of Croatian doctors, on Tuesday signed a joint statement urging the government to prepare either a law on physicians’ salaries or a collective agreement for this profession. HZL leader Kresimir Luetic criticized the government for being inactive regarding the regulation of M.D.’s status. The signatories also demand an urgent meeting with PM Andrej Plenkovic. Luetic said that it was degrading that there were no representatives of doctors at the negotiations on a wage rise in the healthcare sector. He also expressed deep concern at a state of affairs in the healthcare system and warned that Croatia was short of 2,000 M.D.
Recall that on Tuesday health minister Milan Kujundzic proposed to healthcare union representatives a 7% wage increase, which has been already initialed when a collective agreement was signed late July, but which the government did not agree to implement. The proposal will be put to the inner cabinet on Wednesday and the government meeting this Thursday or next week. However, the unions are overall not quite satisfied with the offer as they insist that the 7% increase be applied as of Sep 1 and not as had been said previously — by 3% as of Aug 1 and by 4% as of Oct 1. Unions say that if the government does not approve the proposal, they would not have other option that to go on strike.