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Minister comprehends Czech doctors’ demands, prepares measures

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Prague, March 7 (CTK) – Czech Health Minister Svatopuluk Nemecek comprehends the medical staff’s demands presented by the Czech Doctors’ Chamber (CLK), he said yesterday adding that he is preparing an amendment regularly indexing health insurance the state pays for some groups of inhabitants.
The change would generate about three billion crowns annually, but the Finance Ministry has objections to the proposal.
The state pays health insurance for children,students, the unemployed and pensioners.
The CLK called on the government yesterday to prepare a plan for the salvation of Czech health care.
In addition to the indexation, it should also impose health tax on tobacco and alcohol, embed annual pay rises of minimally 10 percent in doctors and other medical workers’ salaries and unify pay categories in state and private hospitals.
Nemecek praised the CLK for having alerted the government to the threatening deterioration of the level of the health care system through its president Milan Kubek.
Kubek said the fundamental task of health care is to ensure availability of quality and safe care for everyone who needs it.
“In spite of the selfless work of thousands of doctors and nurses, Czech health care is no longer capable of fulfilling this task and Czech medicine starts to lose its praised quality and reputation,” Kubek said.
“A number of regional hospitals are personally devastated and they completely depend on the uncertain work of foreigners. Key wards, such as district internal medicine and paediatric ones, are being closed. In many towns and villages, citizens are in vain seeking doctors,” Kubek said.
Nemecek conceded that the situation will not be tolerable unless something changes fundamentally.
Nemecek said at present, health care is very effective.
Deputy Health Minister Tom Philipp told journalists that if the discord with the Finance Ministry were not settled, a government decree on one-off indexation would be worked out by the middle of the year, which would generate about seven billion crowns.
($1=24.661 crowns)

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