Kosovo health employees started hunger-strike on Tuesday, Mar 2, 2009, after the government failed to increase their salaries as promised in October 2008. Some 13,247 medical workers in Kosovo restarted their strike on Tuesday for the 3rd time, saying they would continue until their demand for better pay is met.
Kosovo yet has no law on health insurance and even medical workers have no coverage for medical interventions.
Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia one year ago, is plagued by poverty and corruption, also affecting the decrepit health sector. The average Kosovo monthly wage is 220 Euros and doctors are paid only slightly better, 250 Euros, meanwhile they use to work in horrible conditions in state-run hospitals. As a result, many of them only keep their jobs in state hospitals in order to direct as many patients as possible to see them in the hundreds of better-equipped private clinics.
The health system in Kosovo is poor with many patients looking for treatment abroad. Health trade unions have been warning for a long time about critical conditions in the health system, but no adequate policies have been applied so far to improve the situation. (Photo/ Vudi Xhymshiti)