In their view, only 288 (9.6%) out of the 2,994 publicly funded dentists have signed the open letter denying treatment for two weeks, most of whom are not even public servants but entrepreneurs. Also, no prior notice has been given on the work strike, and employers haven’t granted their consent either. Therefore, the “strike” is unfounded, unlawful, and misleads the public, the statement argues, similar to “collective holidays.”
The ministry also insists that the action “only serves political campaign purposes.” Meanwhile, Zala county president of the Dental Section of the Hungarian Medical Chamber’s (MOK), Ákos Nagy, who is one of the organizers of the protest, explained in his response to pro-Fidesz daily Magyar Nemzet that “they could not have organized it any other time, because of the summer holidays, while later the protest would indeed coincide with the upcoming elections.
EMMI also claims that it has been negotiating for months with advocacy groups on further increases. At last week’s meeting of the Dental Section of the Hungarian Medical Chamber (MOK), county presidents, elected by the dentists, have accepted EMMI’s offer by a large majority (19:3). Nagy answered by arguing that not all of MOK’s presidency work within the public healthcare system.
On Monday, more than a thousand healthcare dentists went on a two-week-long strike (‘collective holidays’ officially), providing only on-call duties and emergency treatments, as amid the current amount of state funding they say they are unable to run their practices effectively and predictably, even considering the hike the government offered during recent talks.