Health staff salaries will increase by 25 per cent starting with October 1st, Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced on Tuesday, at the Government House.
“We are able, from October 1st this year, (…) to perform a 25 per cent increase of the current wages for the entire health staff. This means, provided that the data from the Ministry [of Health] and from the [National Public Pensions] House is correct, 181,000 individuals within the Ministry of Health network and of local public administration and 12,380 individuals within the ministries and the institutions that have their own network, Interior [Internal Affairs], [Ministry of National] Defense, SRI and other”, PM Victor Ponta stated in a press conference, held together with Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that adding the yearly budgetary impact of the measure amounts to approximately 1.7 billion lei.
Ponta also added that the wage increase will be performed “in particular on the basis of the savings made by the public health system, after the health card was introduced and other efficiency measures.”
“For this year the resources are provided from funds saved by the Ministry of health and the House, but for this we need a budget amendment in October that will certainly be made in such a way to ensure that starting November, the increased October salaries will be paid. It is important that with regards to the text of the ordinance and subsequently the debate in Parliament that the obligation to continue this gradual increase be undertaken before the State Budget Law, so that we could perform the next 25pct increase and similarly, 25pct yearly, until we achieve the doubling of the current salaries of doctors, nurses and the rest of the staff,” the Prime Minister stated.
Ponta added that the law on the increase of health staff’s salaries will be drafted with a view to be adopted during the Wednesday government sitting as an emergency ordinance.
The head of the government stated that the talks with representatives of the health system are ongoing and will continue over the upcoming period with a view to improve the legal framework and facilities in the sector.
“I do not believe that there is a magic solution for a health system, but I do believe there is a possibility to improve the legal and facilities areas, as well as that of the staff’s wages,” the PM stated.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the Health Minister, the president of the National Public Pensions House, the Minister of Public Finance, the Minister of Labor, the Ministry of Justice as well as representatives of the public health system participated in the talks.
“Physicians are no longer public servants since last year”
Physicians are no longer public servants ever since last year, through Ordinance no. 2 that has removed them from this system, the normative act being endorsed by the Parliament, on Tuesday said at the Victoria Palace, Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
He added that the Justice Minister will draft a bill on the additional contributions of the patients to those who examine them.
“Physicians are not public servants anymore through a decision we have adopted last year, the Ordinance no. 2 / 2014, which has removed the medical doctors from the civil servants’ system. It was, furthermore, endorsed by Parliament (…) The Justice Minister, alongside medical system’s representatives will come forward with a draft law, and not an Emergency Ordinance (…), to provide for everybody’s understanding that those additional contributions the patients would like to give to a physician, to a nurse [to be done] with the cumulative definition of three conditions: to not be conditioned by the physician, to occur after the medical act is completed and to be declared as such in order to be taxed. Next Wednesday, we shall send the draft law to the Parliament and I’m positive it will be righted in the legal committees,” the Prime Minister mentioned.
According to a June decision of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ), the physicians with the state hospitals cannot receive additional pay or donations from patients.
Health Minister: Moves will be made for next year’s state budget law to include amounts for the second phase of the rise
Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu aims to have the healthcare staff’s pay doubled by early 2017, provided the current negotiations are observed, with a provision to this effect to be introduced in the unified pay law being drafted by the Labour Ministry.
“It is a substantial increase (of the salary by 25 percent starting this Oct. 1 – editor’s note) and it must be continued by what we discuss about the doctor’s status, not only the professional one but also the doctor’s status in society. This entire discussion must be backed by the political class. Things have been possible after a range of implemented measures, namely the electronic health insurance card and they can be assumed by all the future governments, on only one condition: the health insurance card should remain compulsory. You should thus understand why the move was delayed for so long and why we hadn’t reached such increases earlier”, Banicioiu said at Victoria Palace (the Govt’s offices) on Tuesday, after having taken part in talks about the health system pay with Prime Minister Victor Ponta and the unions’ representatives.
The Minister explained that after the 25 percent salary increase from Oct. 1, moves will be made for next year’s state budget law to include amounts for the second phase of the rise.
“There will be another 25 percent included in the 2016 draft budget. The increase will amount to nearly 60 percent (the first two phases – editor’s note)”, he underscored.
Banicioiu said that such salary rise will be funded from the savings made following the introduction of the health card.
“And part of it are the consequences of the updated medicine prices”, he said, adding that “The management of the health system funds should continue the principles set in 2014 and 2015 and consumption must be kept within the same limits”.
The Minister also spoke about discontent showed in the health system as regards a ruling of the High Court of Cassation and Justice saying the doctors in the state hospitals cannot receive additional payment or donations from the patients, since they have a civil servant’s status.
He said it is about the patient’s right to show their gratitude, but underscored “there cannot be absolutely anything in our century without a receipt. The doctors, in fact, demand decent wages, which we actually try to offer and they also demand a very clear regulation of the status”.