Hospital Strike Looming

The Swedish Association of Health Professionals is stepping up its threats to go on strike if negotiations between itself and NHS employers organisations don’t reach an agreement soon.

Operations are already being cancelled, and wards emptied ahead of the first wave of industrial action, which is due to come into effect in 9 county councils at lunchtime on Monday. Now another 40 districts are being targeted in a new wave of strikes announced on Wednesday.

Both sides of the discussions are pessimistic about the chances of a deal, with the head doctor at Stockholm’s Karolinska Hospital calling the strike plans unacceptable and threatening patient safety. The disagreements come over a proposed pay deal which would give health professionals a raise of 4 percent this year, 2.5 percent next and 2 percent in 2010. Not enough says the union.

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