More money set aside for GPs
GPs who exceed the maximum number of patients they are supposed to have will be entitled to special bonuses that may amount to 20% of base pay, which will also extend to nursing staff.
For the average GP, this would mean roughly EUR 400 more per month while their nurse would get EUR 235, Health Minister Aleš Šabeder said.
The bonuses will amount to EUR 11.7 million at the annual level and the funding for this year has been secured from reserves at ZPIZ, the public health insurer.
Šabeder hopes the fresh funds will appease GPs, many of whom started to quit their jobs earlier this year but deferred escalation until the autumn to give the health ministry time to secure more money for paying existing doctors better and hiring new ones.
The minister was confident that doctors who demanded changes would now realise that the ministry had done everything it could to meet their demands. "I am confident they will withdraw their notices," he said.
The first reactions from doctors and health organisations have been rather reserved, although the Association of Health Institutes expects the decision taken will help alleviate problems in primary healthcare, although it suggested systemic measures will be needed as well.
The Medical Chamber would not comment yet, while of the ZZZS repeated its call for increasing the ceiling for the health insurer's expenditure for 2019.
Doctors would not comment as yet either, but Igor Muževič, the head of the GPs trade union Praktikum, told TV channel Kanal A that the union saw the measure passed by the government today as a "misguided attempt to bribe doctors to continue with unlawful and bad work as a result of excessive work overload".