Because of Covid-19 crisis, Vinkele unsure about 10% pay rise for medics this year

  • 2020-06-30
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Because of uncertainty about the economic recovery following the Covid-19 crisis, Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development/For) is not sure that it will be possible to raise medics' wages by 10 percent this year.

As reported, at the beginning of June, medics' professional organizations called on the government to decide on raising medics' pay by 10 percent this year and by 20 percent next year. The organizations joining the appeal included the Latvian Medical Association, the Latvian Nurses Association and the Latvian Junior Doctors Association.

"In my opinion, it would be fair to keep the promise given by Saeima to medics in full," Vinkele said at Tuesday's news conference when asked about the likelihood of this year's pay increase. 

The parliament's decision made in 2018 provided that EUR 120 million will be earmarked for medics in 2020, allowing to increase medics' wages by 20 percent, but at the end of last year the coalition admitted that the earlier decision had been a mistake because the source of money for this allocation had not been indicated.

In November 2019, the parliament adopted the 2020 budget in the final reading, allocating EUR 60 million for raising medics' wages.

As a result, the Health Ministry offered to raise wages by 20 percent for residents and by 10 percent for other medical staff this year.