According to RÚV, Minister of Health Siv Fridleifsdóttir says that the National hospital is running according to plan. The chairman of the board of directors has said that the state would be asked for more money although the minister does not seem to share that view. She said that the finances of the national hospital are always under review and that there are some departments that are possibly getting stretched. The cost of supplies from abroad have also increased. The minister says it is unlikely that there will be any change in the financial support until Althingi, Iceland’s parliament, meets for a new session on October 1.
The minister did not comment on the turmoil at the national hospital but has previously said that she supports the management of the hospital.
Because of the recent turmoil at the national hospital, the Society of Physicians in Iceland has sent out yet another statement, which says that it is not arguing with the legality of the policy of hospital management requiring chief physicians to work only at the hospital. An excerpt from the statement says, “However, it can be debatable whether it is intelligent under the circumstances in Iceland or whether it should apply to those who were already employed when the policy was taken up.”
The Society asks that when changes are made the employees should be consulted and that the changes should be made in accordance with law and applicable contracts. “In the case of two chief physicians courts have come to the conclusion that the management of the national hospital has acted illegally to enact its policy. That in itself is reprehensible. It is still more reprehensible that the management of the National hospital does not intend to correct the unfair treatment that the doctors have received.”
Vice Chairman of the doctor’s council at the national hospital, Páll Torfi Önundarson, told RUV on July 1 that the management of the hospital used a “reign of terror”. The management is braking the law and employees are afraid to voice their opinions.
In today’s morning edition of Morgunbladid, the editors raise the issue of affairs at the national hospital in the unsigned daily column Staksteinar (“Miscellany”). They quote Pálmi Ragnar Pálmason, chairman of the board of the national hospital, when he says that the conflict is about salaries of doctors who would lose income should they stop their private practice.
Morgunbladid says: “This shows that the Chairman … fundamentally misunderstands the conflict at the national hospital. It is no longer about chief physicians working solely at the national hospital. It is about how people are handled. It is about how management at the hospital treats its underlings. it is about the management trying to suppress the opinions of others within the hospital. … The first step towards solving this serious conflict is that the management of the hospital understand what it is about. That in fact also applies to the minister of health and his ministry.“
At noon Bylgja radio reported that the government supports the policy of the national hospital that chief physicians only work at the hospitals. The minister of health raised the matter in a cabinet meeting this morning.