Employers of Poland and the Polish Hospital Federation yet again express their concern with the compliance with the law of the proposed change in the mechanism regulating the increase in wages for nurses and midwifes. The possibility of its realization is also questionable. We believe that ensuring appropriate remuneration for nurses and midwifes is necessary, but such changes should be made in the spirit of social dialog and subjected to consultation well in advance.
The regulation passed on September 8th and published in the Journal of Laws a week later regulates the increase in wages for nurses and midwifes by an average of 300 PLN per contract of employment. In our opinion, the prerogative of the Minister of Health to issue regulations does not include the right to regulate the wages of any professional group. Moreover, the act on healthcare services financed form public funds does not establish grounds for spending public money on anything other than securing medical services. Therefore, we express our concern with the compliance of the abovementioned regulation with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.
What is more, the regulation ensures financing increased wages for one professional group until next June. This may mean that starting in July 2016, the costs of the raise will be borne by hospitals – without the possibility of increasing the contract or the pricing of services.
In the opinion of Employers of Poland and the Polish Hospital Federation, the realization of this regulation will harm predominately patients. It will adversely affect the accessibility of medical services, their standard and quality, and in critical situations the hospital with the highest debts will be liquidated.
We are concerned that the 400 PLN sum will be included in the basis of the remuneration which would mean increasing all of its derivatives – at the expense of hospitals. This is a crucial element of every medical entity’s budget!
Sadly, we do not see an additional reserve to cover the promised costs in the budget of the National Health Fund (NFZ) which could have dramatic consequences for Polish patients.
The interpretation that nurses and midwifes in basic healthcare, including home nurses, as well as highly specialized nurses and midwifes are not due a raise, will only deprive a large professional of the right to raises and be a source of unrest and social conflicts.
We do not question the rationale behind the actions of the Ministry of Health, but the way in which they are being carried out. Thus, we urge the ministry to immediately call tripartite talks of healthcare entrepreneurs – with the participation of hospital representatives.
We believe that ignoring our voice in this dialog can make it very difficult!