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Wednesday 08.04.2020 | Name days: Dana, Dans, Danute, Edgars

Doctors protest outside Saeima: Let’s not be like beaten dogs returning home!

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 Anna Valaine, doctors wages, Egils Baldzēns, Ilze Aizsilniece, Līga Bāriņa, Ilze Ortveina, Ilze Viņķele, Jānis Reirs, Kārlis Rācenis, protest, Saeima dismissal, important, Valdis Keris, healthcare fundingDuring the protest held on Thursday, 28 November, leaders of doctors’ organizations urged deputies of the Saeima to study healthcare workers’ everyday life and promised to not act like beaten dogs returning home.

Latvian Trade Union of Health and Social Workers (LVSADA) vice-chairperson Līga Bāriņa mentioned in her speech that by breaking the trust and hopes of healthcare workers, politicians also undermine patients’ trust in doctors. «Why are there deaf ears? Does this house [Saeima] need help from an otorhinolaryngologist? Why are their eyes blind? Do they need help from an oculist?»

Bāriņa believes the day has come for doctors to have the final say, because doctors want to live in a country ruled by law.

Latvian Young Doctors Association (LJAA) board chairman Kārlis Rācenis mentioned in his speech the time has come when the medical society can no longer function as it has until now.

Young doctors were born after restoration of Latvia’s independence. It is a free generation for which it is important to know what kind of country they live in, because young doctors want to see promises and laws complied with, says LJAA leader.

«If the law is not complied with, why should anyone do it? I hope everything that started a month ago is only the beginning, because we will not leave Latvia. We want to change the system to make it convenient for residents and for us to work with,» says Rācenis.

Latvian Doctors Association (LAB) president Ilze Aizsilniece mentioned in her speech that the state allocates considerable amounts for the receipt lottery, but this is not normal when doctors are overworked and they are sometimes forced to let patients go. She also criticized politicians’ arrogance for using the yellow press for defamation campaigns against doctors.

Latvian Free Trade Unions Association chairman Egils Baldzēns stresses that yesterday the board of the trade union unanimously voted in support of activities organized by doctors, including collection of signatures in favour of Saeima’s dismissal.

«Budget approval is not over. The government and Saeima have to fix their mistakes,» says LVSADA chairman Valdis Keris.

Latvian Nurses Association vice-president Ilze Ortveina says it is written in the Holy Bible: ‘Ask and you shall be given!’

«But this applies to relations with God. It doesn’t work with politics,’ she stresses.

Ortveina says doctors are no longer the kind of people who feel treated worse than slaves, because doctors are prepared to fight to their justice even though politicians are making fun of them. Latvian nurses are confused why politicians have decided to use the budget to secure guarantees for healthcare with non-existent healthcare workers.

«If you think we will let go now and go home like beaten dogs, you are wrong. We stand for justice and respect of the law!» stresses Ortveina. «One law, one justice for all!» those present at the protest chanted.

LJAA representative Anna Valaine invited deputies to come over to hospitals and visit patients to see the conditions doctors have to work in every day.

«Perhaps you just don’t know how it is. Come over to our shift in the cancer ward, we’ll show you!» Valaine proposed.

Read also: Prime minister asks healthcare minister to come up with new wage model for doctors

At the end of the protest, LVSADA chairman Keris led protesters to the Central Election Commission to officially submit the request to have the Saeima dismissed. Keris invited participants of the protest to sign the initiative then and there.

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