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Healthcare Ministry still does not know which doctors participated in the strike

Anda Caksa/play24.
To this day Latvian Healthcare Ministry does not know which doctors participated in the strike organized by Latvian Family Doctors Association and which did not, says Healthcare Minister Anda Caksa.

She notes that claims about the ministry allegedly blackmailing or limiting family doctors are unjustified, because, in accordance with the Strike Law, individuals who refuse to work have to be clearly defined. Our goal is to provide accessibility and receive a service in return, added Caksa.

The minister explains that it was important for the ministry to understand if an intervention was necessary during the strike, even though State Labour Inspectorate was keeping an eye on things the whole time. But even SLI told the ministry that there was no reason to intervene.

According to her, there are very few nuances in relation to the strike. Nevertheless, she says the ministry definitely does not intend to limit family doctors. «There are many legal nuances in this matter, because on one side doctors want to be employees, but on the other hand they don’t want to be bothered. Also they want to be paid for the time they spent on strike, but on the other hand the very point of the strike was them not getting paid for that time,» the minister explains.

At the same time, Caksa admits that residents may have very little experience with strikes, seeing as how this kind of measure is not common in Latvia. At the same time, Caksa does not think this form of expressing one’s opinion should be developed in the country.

When asked if the strike was necessary to liven up processes in the industry, the minister said if the strike had been performed last October or November, there would have been room for debate. Considering that the report on healthcare system’s reform has been reviewed and the Saeima has approved tax reform laws in the final readings, there was little to no point in the strike.

Caksa says it is now more important to think about content and results in family doctors’ strike. «Healthcare is not just about doctors – it is about all of us who live here and receive services,» says the minister.


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