The POEDIN health workers' union organised a national strike and demonstration on 16 May in protest at the austerity still being suffered by the public health service. The union argues that massive underfunding and staff shortages are making it impossible to deliver services and many people are forced to use the expensive private sector as waiting lists rise. There is a recruitment crisis in the sector with no new workers taken on over the last three years while 3000 have retired. Overall staffing is 6000 below its 2014 level while workers face poverty wages. A university trained nurse has a starting salary of only EUR 640 a month. Understaffing has led to overwork with hospital workers owed anything from 60 to 150 days' of compensatory leave.
Health workers take action over jobs, pay and funding
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The Health Workers' Union of Ukraine has called a national demonstration on 12 September in protest at the government's failure to respond to a labour dispute raised by the union last year. The union is claiming a general rise for all healthworkers as well as resolution of an issue relating to highly skilled workers' pay. The demonstration will also highlight the need to increase health sector funding and will protest against government plans for restructuring and to cut hospital beds.