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Czech private doctors to protest against red tape

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Prague, Oct 2 (CTK) – Czech general practitioners, dentists and specialist doctors will protest against increasing red tape and underfinancing of their outpatient offices on October 10 but they will not close them, their representatives announced in a press release on Monday.

“The mandatory introduction of electronic prescriptions and the electronic registration of sales (EET) have been the reason why many ageing doctors decide to close their offices. But there is nobody to replace them in the countryside,” Petr Sonka, head of the Czech Association of General Practitioners, said.

On October 10, dozens of doctors are to arrive in Zleby, central Bohemia, to stage a symbolic funeral of a doctor’s office that is to be closed.

About 10,000 private dentists, 5,500 general practitioners and 4,000 specialist doctors with their own outpatient offices are registered in the Czech Republic, with a population of 10.5 million.

Sonka said about 100 GPs are planning to close their offices. each having 1,700 patients on average. Due to this, the step may affect up to 200,000 patients in the country, he said.

By 2020, approximately 800 GP’s offices are to be lacking.

The organisers of the protest say doctors and nurses working in outpatient clinics and private offices have lower salaries than those in public hospitals.

The salary of a nurse employed in a private doctor’s outpatient office is one-third lower than that of a nurse working by a state-run health facility, Zorjan Jojko, head of the Coalition of Outpatient Specialists, said.

According to the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry data, a GP, a specialist doctor and a nurse employed by the state earned 55,385 crowns, 71,199 crowns and 36,764 crowns a month on average in 2016, respectively. A specialist doctor and a nurse in the private sector earned 49,639 crowns and 22,847 crowns monthly, respectively.

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