Saturday, 19 April 2014

Doctors' exodus might threaten nurses' jobs

ČTK |
3 January 2011

Prague, Dec 31 (CTK) - Doctors' departures from hospitals within their campaign for higher pay may also threaten jobs of nurses, and this is why the Czech Association of Nurses (CAS) has published health care job offers for them on its website, CAS spokeswoman Irena Pejznochova told CTK Friday.

If hospitals have to merge some wards and even whole hospitals have to be closed over mass notices of doctors, nurses will lose jobs, she added.

Some 80,000 nurses work in the 10.5-million Czech Republic, 15,000 of whom are members of CAS.

The dismissed nurses might find other jobs in health care or leave the sector, which is a worse alternative, Pejznochova said.

Mainly nurses with university education who know foreign languages can seek jobs elsewhere, she noted.

"However, there is a risk of the lack of nurses at the moment when the health care sector is stabilised," she told CTK.

On the other hand, the campaign of the doctors' union might also be useful for nurses. If doctors succeed with their pay demands, nurses, too, can expect their wages to rise.

If acute care hospitals are not closed but transformed into long-term care facilities, more nurses will be needed.

Within the "Thank You, We Are Leaving" campaign of the Doctors' Trade Unions (LOK) thousands of hospital doctors have announced that they are prepared to give a notice by the end of the year if their salaries are not raised to 1.5 to three times the average pay in the country depending on their qualification.

A Czech doctor has an average monthly pay of some 50,000 crowns, including overtime. The unions call for a base pay of 70,000 crowns per month.

The average national monthly pay is about 23,600 crowns.

CAS is mapping the situation. As soon as it is known how many doctors will actually leave, the CAS leadership will meet and issue a stance, Pejznochova said.

CAS pointed out previously that doctors should not seek higher salaries at the expense of other health care personnel.

Some nurses support the doctors' campaign as a chance of improving the situation of all health care workers, while others blame doctors for lobbying for one interest group only.

According to the website of the Doctors' Trade Union, some 3650 out of 16,000 hospital doctors have handed in notices.

Health Minister Leos Heger (TOP 09) has not yet met representatives of the doctors' union.

($1=18.994 crowns)

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