Raising nurses’ wages without consulting all social partners causes wage pressure in other professional groups and conflicts in hospitals.
Employers of Poland have met undersecretary of state in the Ministry of Health Cezary Cieślukowski, to get information – thus far only presented through the media – on the plans to raise nurses’ wages. The minister confirmed that according to these plans, starting on September 1st directors of hospitals will get money from NFZ to increase wages for this group (based on an annex to contracts), and the capitation fee for nurses working in basic healthcare institutions will increase on January 1st 2016. Money for the raises – ca. 900 mln PLN – will come from reserves of funds for the realization of services based on the trans-border directive.
According to Employers of Poland, this move is an element of the election campaign and increasing the wages of select professional groups will surely cause wage pressure from other professions. One cannot give more money to nurses and neglect radiology, sterilization and laboratory technicians, physiotherapists etc. This will cause tensions and friction among hospital employees and the expectation of raises for other groups. As a result, hospitals’ financial condition will worsen – at the end of the day the patients will pay for it.
Employers of Poland are strongly opposed to giving raises to nurses and midwifes employed in hospitals only. If that were the case, nurses and midwifes working in basic healthcare would have to wait for raises until January next year. For obvious reasons we cannot agree to that. Dividing nurses and midwifes into more and less worthy, depending on whether they work in hospitals or basic healthcare, is unacceptable.
In our opinion, such a practice is inefficient, very controversial and legally problematic. It would be appropriate to apply financial mechanisms which would encourage the management of healthcare institutions to implement a balanced wage policy. However, it is hard to expect raises for all medical personnel, when the level of financing for medical procedures has been constant for the last few years – despite appeals from medical professionals, the price of a single settlement point has been the same for years.
During the meeting, we have expressly drawn attention to the need to consult such changes with all interested parties already at the preliminary stage – otherwise they will certainly not be accepted by all. The current one-sided “dialog” will be very damaging and will cause conflicts between the diverse professional groups working in hospitals.
In relations to the proposed increase in wages, Employers of Poland have sent a letter to Minister Cieślukowski, expressing our objections to the suggested changes. It is available here (in Polish).
Robert Mołdach, Adviser to the President of Employers of Poland