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Gov’t plans steps to prevent doctors’ departures abroad

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Prague, Feb 8 (CTK) – The Czech cabinet approved on Monday Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek’s draft package aimed to simplify doctors’ postgraduate training, prevent their departures abroad and harmonise the Czech system with the EU’s, government spokesman Martin Ayrer told CTK.

Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said the current system of postgraduate training is extremely fragmented into a number of branches and sub-branches. Some types of training are unnecessarily long and concentrated in few institutions only.

Nemecek proposed to reduce the number of the training branches from the current 46 to 33.

This would simplify the system, make it more friendly to doctors and stop the situation where the postgraduate training system causes Czech doctors to leave for abroad, he told journalists before the cabinet meeting.

For example, vascular surgery, child surgery, child psychiatry, diabetology or geriatry would cease to be the basic training branches.

Geriatry and child psychiatry specialists have protested that the deletion of the two branches will prolong the training of the relevant specialists and discourage young doctors from choosing these specialisations.

Nemecek said he expected criticism but still the change is necessary as the system urgently needs an improvement.

“At present, even the left toe surgery and the right toe surgery are two different medical branches,” he said with irony.

Czech students complete their six-year studies by graduating from a faculty of medicine. After starting to work in a hospital, they continue to be taught by their more experienced colleagues for up to seven years – a period Nemecek proposed to cut as a measure to solve the shortage of doctors in hospitals.

Nemecek also wants to raise the number of hospitals that enable postgraduate training to doctors.

At present, the training is offered by teaching and other big hospitals. In future, it is also to be offered by small hospitals so that the trainees can undergo it near to their home towns.

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