What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: Privatising Healthcare & Media Freedom

By , 12 Apr 2019, 19:45 PM Politics
What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: Privatising Healthcare & Media Freedom The weeklies' Facebook pages

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Mladina: GP resignations aimed at privatising healthcare

STA, 12 April 2019 - The left-wing weekly Mladina accuses the trade union of GPs of abusing their power at the cost of patients. This week's editorial refers to a document it says proves that the trade union Praktikum's head Igor Muževič orchestrated the current crisis among GPs to force the government's hand and ultimately lead to privatising public healthcare.

"It is a sad day for Slovenian public healthcare. The aim of these actions is not to improve the system, but to dismantle it," Grega Repovž, the editor-in-chief writes under the headline Foul Play.

He says that Mladina has obtained a signed document from 2017 which proves that Muževič's plan had been to provoke a crisis that would force the state to privatise healthcare.

Privatising healthcare would essentially turn medical practitioners into businessmen. If the trade union's demands are met, GPs would remain part of the public sector that would provide them with the necessary infrastructure, however, they would get paid as private individuals, Repovž writes.

This is an abuse of what the trade union struggle stands for. It essentially turns patients into hostages, and it would not take long for other medical practitioners to demand the same working conditions, effectively leading to a collapse of the public healthcare system.

Repovž writes that doctors' wages are among the highest in the public sector. He says the attempt to increase their income by branching out into the private sector is unacceptable and unethical, especially since it is disguised as an industrial action.

Demokracija: Double standards on media freedom

STA, 11 April 2019 - The right-wing weekly Demokracija plays down the importance of Hungary's protest over the weekly Mladina's cover portraying PM Viktor Orban making a Nazi salute in its latest editorial. It is bothered that the freedom of speech was not defended so eagerly when PM Marjan Šarec gave instructions regarding media advertising.

Hungary's protest sent to Mladina and the Slovenian Foreign Ministry was labelled a reflection of the idea of a complete media control, but the truth is that the "incident" will have absolutely no impact on the Slovenian media, editor-in-chief Jože Biščak says.

Thus, the diplomatic note sent by Hungary cannot be a form of pressure on the media or their editorial policy but merely a reaction to a controversial image of a democratically elected prime minister of a neighbouring country.

According to Biščak, much more dangerous for media freedom and the freedom of expression was Šarec's call to state-owned companies to refrain from advertising in "disobedient media".

"Is this really normal and ordinary? Is this freedom? Is this media freedom? Is this democratic? Is this in line with European values, which this government praises so much only when attacking someone, while resorting to rhetoric and measures of dictators when someone holds up a mirror in front of its face."

There is no middle way when it comes to the freedom of speech and media freedom. Either we have them or we don't. Media freedom cannot be only when the left has something to say. It is supreme hypocrisy and has nothing to do with real freedom, Biščak concludes the commentary headlined Matthew 23:27-28.

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