State doctors consider the Health Ministry’s negative stance towards their union’s demand for better overtime pay unfair, president Maro Kontou said yesterday.
“It is unfair for doctors including surgeons who go through stress while treating patients during overtime to be paid as little as €12-€13 an hour. Doctors do not do office work and their work is very stressful,” Kontou said.
Kontou argued that after Troika-driven cuts in the wider public sector state doctors suffer salary cuts of 45% and are also not paid according to the salary scale they should be on.
“The Health Ministry said it has a limited budget of €6.3 million for overtime pay and some of it now goes to a few paramedics and nurses working in radiology and angiography who do not do shift work,” Kontou said.
“The Health Ministry’s budget for state doctors’ overtime pay also now covers the allowance of 34 heads of department and in addition to that it should be noted that there are more doctors now,” she added.
In her view state doctors were always underpaid and they should not suffer a 15% cut on overtime pay.
“Pasiky submitted a substantiated proposal on doctors’ overtime pay carried out by Deloitte and a proposal for savings from other public health sectors to the Health Ministry,” Kontou said.
But Health Minister Petros Petrides yesterday argued the Ministry is still waiting for the doctors’ proposal on savings.
Petrides argued that during negotiations on overtime pay, Pasiky kept coming up with new demands and proposals which were implemented by the Health Ministry anyway.
“I regret to note that although the Health Ministry has taken the issue for discussion to the Finance Ministry, Pasiky goes ahead with statements that create a negative climate and the wrong impressions,” Petrides said.
The Minister referred to the Auditor General who highlighted weaknesses in exploiting overtime pay of doctors with overtime pay not always justified.
Petrides said he was not prepared to transfer funds of the Health Ministry budget aimed for medical services to cover overtime pay.