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Salaries restored to Romanian junior doctors

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 09 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:592
  1. Tudor Toma
  1. Bucharest

    Junior doctors in Romania are once again being paid after a two month interruption in their salaries because of a dispute between the health department and the national health insurance organisation (Casa Nationala de Asigurari) (BMJ 2000;320:1494). Each thought the other should pay the juniors.

    The dispute was resolved after the Romanian government passed a special emergency law in July that obliged the insurance organisation to provide salaries for doctors in training as well as for doctors who had finished their specialty training.

    The insurance organisation tried to stop the law being approved but failed. It also threatened to sue the government but did not do so and eventually agreed to start paying the salaries again in the middle of August.

    A spokesman for the organisation said: “Junior doctors' salaries will be paid within the limit of available funds and will depend on the money available to regional branches.”

    Because regional branches of the insurance organisation are self funded this could have meant that doctors' salaries might have varied from region to region. During the past two months most junior doctors continued to work, but protests and rallies were organised weekly. All doctors have now had their salaries restored, including back payments, without, apparently, any salary variations.

    A junior doctor's average salary in Romania is still less than 2.5 million leus a month (less than £74; $111) before taxes, and the job is one of the worst paid among university graduates.

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