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Latvian Health Minister in favor of higher minimum wage

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Staff writer ▼ | September 1, 2015
Latvian Health Minister Guntis Belevics supports increasing minimum wage as salaries for medical personnel will increase as a result, reports LETA.
Guntis Belevics
Wages in Europe   Minimum wage supports other wages
The minister told LTV television channel that he was expecting heated discussions on higher minimum wage in the government. He is in favor of higher minimum wage, as many health workers are paid the minimum wage.

At the same time, Belevics expects that the ministry will be allotted funds to proportionally increase wages also for other health workers in order to prevent a situation where unlicensed assistive personnel receive the same wages as nurses and young physicians.

The minister said that in case the government decides to increase the minimum wage by EUR 10, the Health Ministry will need about EUR 9.5 million to raise the wages for the rest of medical staff.

In case the no such funds are allotted, then "everybody should know" that the government has made a political decision to further limit access to free healthcare in Latvia, said Belevics.

According to Belevics, the Health Ministry must protect its budget from spending cuts. The minister added he wanted to persuade his colleagues that the health budget should remain at the current percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), which would mean a larger budget if Latvia's GDP increases.

However, this has turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt, and the healthcare funding for next year will "fall under three percent of GDP".


 

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