Latvia’s healthcare workers to stage “A Day Without A Doctor” protest next month

Representatives of healthcare organizations in Latvia announced on Tuesday their intention to stage a protest outside parliament on Nov. 7 over the healthcare funding planned in the country’s 2020 budget.

Physicians and medical nurses have been invited to take an unpaid one-day leave of absence to participate in the protest, which will leave many hospitals and outpatient institutions without medical staff for one day. All appointments and medical examinations scheduled for Nov. 7 have been canceled.

The upcoming protest is therefore called “A Day Without A Doctor.”

The number of medics planning to join the protest is not known for now, but the organizers have said that employees of Latvia’s leading hospitals have expressed their backing for the strike.

Provision of emergency medical assistance will continue uninterrupted on the day of the protest, the medics promised.

If the government and lawmakers still refuse to hear the medics’ demands and do not provide the required financing in next year’s budget, the Trade Union of Health and Social Care Employees of Latvia (LVSADA) has threatened to launch a petition calling for the dissolution of parliament.

In accordance with current legislation, the government was supposed to provide 100 million euros (111 million U.S. dollars) in next year’s budget for raising medical workers’ wages in 2020, but the allocation has been reduced to 43 million euros in the budget bill currently making its way through parliament. (one euro currently equals to 1.11 U.S. dollars)