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Wednesday 29.01.2020 | Name days: Valērijs, Aivars

Judins: 52.38 million euros would be enough to raise doctors’ wages 20%

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Saeima, Andrejs Judins, wages, funding, Latvia, healthcare

Andrejs Judins

EUR 52.38 million would be enough to raise healthcare workers’ wages by 20%, said Saeima deputy Andrejs Judins after studying data from the State Revenue Service (VID).

The Saeima deputy came to this conclusion because EUR 21.82 million was needed in the first nine months of 2019 to pay wages to nurses and midwives and pay their social fees on average every month. Whereas, together with the first nine months of 2019, healthcare workers’ wages and employers’ social fees came to EUR 196.42 million.

In his analysis, Judins listed income of 5 627 healthcare workers, including 4 115 doctors, who received income in the public sector, as well as 10 712 nurses and midwives, including 7 744 people who were paid income working in the public sector.

Judins based his estimates on the actual number of people employed in the industry, not the workload, which results in the number of surveyed people in the politician’s analysis at about 16 000. Meanwhile, Healthcare Ministry focused on workloads of healthcare employees in its assessment – a total of 26 400 workloads.

The deputy mentioned the fact there are doctors who work 300 to 500 hours a month. There are also 30 doctors who work more than 400 hours every month.

Judins is not entirely clear how the aforementioned healthcare workers are able to work for so many hours. According to him, such a number of hours may imply excessive workload and problems with work hour accounting. He also mentioned Healthcare Inspectorate’s competence in the review of this situation.

Similarly, Judins pointed towards the non-compliance of wages of certain doctors and other healthcare workers with the minimal wage amount outlined by law. He added that there are nine doctors whose wage for full-time work is below EUR 950. This wage for full-time work is below the current minimal monthly rate – EUR 950.

However, Healthcare Ministry’s representative Oskars Šneiders, commenting on Judins’ analysis, said that it does not provide a full picture in regards to wages paid to healthcare workers. Information also cannot be used as base numbers for additional funding estimates for plans to increase wages.

State-financed services are also provided by private service providers, especially in daycare sector, where there are approximately 1 300 family doctors, healthcare centres and private practices of doctors. Their services, as well as necessary funding to pay for their work and the possible increase of funding was not taken into account, allows Šneiders.

According to the ministry, Judins’ analysis is incomplete also because it includes information only for doctors, nurses and midwives, and no information on other healthcare workers or ambulance brigades, which would have considerably increased workload estimates in the report. The total number of workloads for which wages are calculated in accordance with state-financed healthcare service plans is 38 600, explained the ministry’s representative.

The ministry’s data shows that, for example, in two of the largest university hospitals – Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital and P.Stradins Clinical University Hospital – wages, excluding management and administration workers, cost an average of EUR 11 million every month. This means that increase of wages in just two hospitals would require EUR 26.4 million, which is half of the amount mentioned in Judins’ report, explained Šneiders.

He also said the ministry will invite Judins to meet in order to explain the matter of estimates for wage increase for healthcare workers.

The deputy explains that he has analysed data for the labour time in September 2019 and received income, primarily putting emphasis on workload and income when working in the public sector.

Data for income received in July and August 2019 was used as background information, looking if the amount paid to healthcare workers, their workload and average remuneration rate differ when compared to previous months.

The politician added that surveyed VID data is anonymous and does not contain information that would allow identifying income recipients, healthcare institutions and regions, the deputy states.

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

As reported, last year the Saeima’s decision to raise wages for healthcare workers 20% in 2020 provided for allocating EUR 120 million from the state budget. However, as the coalition admitted this was a mistake due to the shortage of financial resources, only half of the necessary amount was found.

Politicians agreed to use this money to increase the lowest wages for resident doctors by 20% and increase wages by 10% for other healthcare workers.

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  1. Zerry says:

    But the raise of wages should be conditional. Doctors should start working equally with all patients and not giving better attention to those who ”motivate” with envelope.

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