Citing their dissatisfaction with the government's healthcare policy, Estonian medical and health services unions are planning on initiating a political strike on May 15 in order to demand additional funding for the sector.
"The Estonian Medical Association, the Estonian Union of Healthcare Professionals and the Estonian Nurses' Association have been forced to conclude that few possibilities remain to preserve peace in the industry," the three unions announced on Wednesday. "Preparations for stopping work in hospitals are underway and May 15 has been set as the starting date of the strike."
The unions said that they are going to take action because the government has not dedicated additional money to the country's healthcare sector. According to the organizations' estimates, the system currently has a shortfall of more than €70 million compared to the actual need for patient treatment and that money is missing for the treatment of more than 200,000 patients.
The three industry organizations also argued that Prime Minister Jüri Ratas had told healthcare workers in December 2016 that finding sustainable solutions for the long-term financing of healthcare had reached the home stretch and that the government would make the necessary political decisions on April 11.
Editor: Aili Vahtla