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Latvian Association of General Practitioners announce strike; urge doctors to go on three-day ''holiday''

Фото: Evija Trifanova/LETA.
 RIGA, Dec 18 - The Latvian Association of General Practitioners announced that it will strike, and urged all general practitioners throughout the country to go on a three-day ''holiday'' as of tomorrow, the president of the association, Pauls Princis, told LETA.

The government supported today amendments to health care organization and financing, which also included changes in the operational structure of general practitioners, including new quality criteria.

After lengthy discussion today, Health Minister Ingrida Circene (Unity) and the Latvian Association of General Practitioners continued to defend their positions.

''I was allowed to speak today, but I cannot say that the discussion was very fruitful, as our objections were not really taken into account. Thus, we intend to call a strike. We urge all general practitioners to go on a three-day ''holiday'' starting tomorrow,'' Princis told LETA.

As reported, on Monday, Circene met with the association, but the sides failed to reach agreement.

Princis told LETA yesterday that a compromise was not reached during the talks. "Once again we were not heard," he said.

LETA also reported, during a general meeting earlier this month, the association decided to demand Circene's resignation. General practitioners oppose the pending amendments to the law and Cabinet regulations, which stipulate new quality criteria but no additional state funding. Most participants in the meeting said that it would be impossible to observe the quality criteria with the current amount of state funding, calling the Health Ministry's move "cynical and unfair."

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