Health minister fails to reassure dissatisfied doctors

A meeting between Health Minister Leoš Heger and representatives of doctors’ trades unions on Monday failed to avert a looming crisis in the health sector. The health minister once again appealed for patience saying that money for higher wages would be part of a broader health care reform. Minister Heger said it was now up to hospital directors to try to find spare cash to improve the lot of doctors, until a gradual salary increase could be affected starting 2012. More than 3,800 physicians have handed in their notice in an attempt to secure salaries up to three times the national average; the resignations are to take effect in March. The two sides will return to the negotiating table on Friday.