Trade union outraged that government cannot allocate EUR 60 million to raise healthcare workers' salaries

  • 2020-03-16
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Trade Union of Health and Social Care Employees of Latvia is outraged that the government has found a billion euros to provide support for businesses impacted by Covid-19, but still cannot allocate EUR 60 million to meet its legal obligations to healthcare workers, the organization told LETA.

In the opinion of the Health and Social Care Employees' Union, this means that politicians' past excuses for unlawful treatment of medical workers - because the state does not have money - has been "another lie".

"The scary truth is that healthcare is not a priority for this government and Saeima, even in the face of a pandemic threat," the association criticized.

Two weeks ago, the union asked Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) to report on what the government had done over the year to improve access to emergency healthcare services for the Emergency Medical Service staff. However, Karins still has not replied, which, in the union's opinion, demonstrates "the government's blatant disregard for the need to strengthen the Emergency Medical Service's capacity in the event of an emergency".

The Health and Social Care Employees Union's Chairman Valdis Keris reminds that during the last financial crisis, Emergency Medical Service did not collapse thanks to medical workers' selflessness, not state support. "Even today, when there is a pandemic crisis, our medics will do everything in their power, but do remember that these resources are not endless," Keris emphasized.

The union urges everyone to remain calm, act so that they do not endanger themselves or those around them, and be understanding of healthcare workers' overload.