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TOP 09: Low salaries making Czech health personnel nervous

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Prague, March 31 (CTK) – Low salaries are one of the reasons of why nervousness in Czech hospitals is considerably rising, former health minister and now a lawmaker for the conservative opposition TOP 09, Leos Heger, told journalists yesterday.
Heger was reacting to a warning by the Czech Doctors’ Chamber (CLK) that the health personnel would not stay in hospitals if their salaries were not rapidly increased.
Hospitals want to hire about 1000 doctors via advertisements. According to the CLK, hospitals would have to admit about 3000 of them if they were to observe the Labour Code and meet the legal number of overtime hours.
The salaries of Czech doctors and nurses should rise next year more than by 5 percent as this year, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said earlier this month.
The rise in salaries may be attractive, but this is not the main problem, Bohuslav Svoboda (the opposition Civic Democratic Party, ODS), from the Chamber of Deputies health committee, said.
Doctors are also leaving over bad working conditions, stress and enormous workload, Sobotka.
Deputy Sona Markova (Communists, KSCM) said the situation was serious especially in regional hospitals where some departments had to reduce their operation due to the lack of personnel.
A rise in salaries would be a solution, she told CTK.
“The nervousness in hospitals is considerably rising. The current ministry and the abolition of the regulation fees, due to which some four billion crowns were lost, are partly to blame. The money could be now used to cover the pay rise,” Heger said.
Costly technologies and problems with observing the permitted overtime are also objective causes of the tension, he added.
The CLK, trade unions, hospitals and the Health Ministry have agreed on a plan to rise the salaries by 30 percent in three years.
The government is to find the money for the plan.
($1 = 23.896 crowns)

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