After eight weeks of sporadic strikes, German health officials agreed Thursday to a wage increase for some 70,000 doctors at community hospitals in around 700 districts.
The doctors' union, the Marburger Bund, said the deal includes a wage increase of four percent for specialists and three percent for interns. In addition, they will be paid more for on-call duty and shift hours are to be limited, according to German news agency DPA.
Deal may put some clinics in the red
Frank Montgomery, head of the Marburger Bund, welcomed the agreement, but chief negotiator for the community hospitals Otto Foit said it could cripple some clinics.
"We have to accept the fact that this compromise, which was forced on us, could see some clinics close their doors," Foit told reporters.
Thursday's wage increase agreement "represents an additional financial burden for the community hospitals that may not be manageable for some clinics," Stephan Articus, director of the Association of German Cities and Towns, told DPA. Most community clinics are already under considerable financial pressure due to ongoing federal healthcare reforms, he added.
Higher wages in both doctor cases