Serbian Health-Care Providers Threaten Strike Over Poor Work Conditions

Health-care professionals at the Clinical Center of Serbia (KCS), the leading medical institution in the country, 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.

Often, they are 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 healthcare workers’ union said they are 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 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.

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