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Serbian Health-Care Providers Threaten Strike Over Poor Work Conditions


Medical staff at Serbia's leading clinic stage a warning strike over poor working conditions in Belgrade on December 24.

Health-care professionals at the Clinical Center of Serbia (KCS), the leading medical institution in the country, have staged a warning strike for an hour in the capital, Belgrade, against poor working conditions, staff shortages, low wages, and unpaid overtime.

To make ends meet, the workers said, they must seek employment outside their professions to supplement their incomes.

They also said that they are often forced to do jobs not within their scope of duties and it isn’t uncommon for cleaning personnel to carry out tasks that nurses do.

Members of a health-care workers' union said they were starting negotiations with the Ministry of Health this week, and, if their demands are not met, they plan a full-scale strike at the beginning of January.

Professionals estimate that more than 1,000 nurses, doctors, and medical technicians leave Serbia each year in search of jobs with better pay and conditions, mainly in Western Europe.

The most popular destinations are Germany and Scandinavian countries.