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Healthcare lacks money, staff and good laws, doctors say

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Prague, Nov 12 (CTK) – Lack of money and qualified medical workers and bad legislation are among the major problems of the Czech health system and they will also persist next year, Milan Kubek, chairman of the Czech Doctors´ Chamber (CLK), said at the Health Care in 2016 conference yesterday.
Josef Stredula, chairman of the CMKOS umbrella trade organisation, said the previous governments contributed to the situation that starts to be “really tragic.”
The trade unions are mainly unhappy about the departures of qualified medical personnel abroad and they want the state to start paying a higher social insurance for children, the unemployed and pensioners.
“The dissatisfaction of the medical personnel is mainly due to the excessive workload. In a poll, 70 percent of them admitted that they cannot provide such care as they would like because of this. They are also dissatisfied with the insufficient financial remuneration,” Stredula said.
Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said he demanded an additional 4.2 billion crowns from the state next year, but the Finance Ministry dismissed this and reduced the sum to less than two billion.
Health care insurance companies will spend 250 billion crowns on treatment in 2016, which is almost ten billion crowns more than this year.
Kubek said “as long as salaries, but also prices, are not on a par with Germany, we will never prevent the departures of qualified people from the Czech Republic.”
Kubek said hospitals should not rely on arrivals from Slovakia after salaries were raised there.
“We have doctors from Ukraine, Uzbekistan or Russia, but we are only a a stopover for many of them. They undergo the necessary tests here and they find work in Germany or Britain with the documents,” Kubek said.
Nemecek said he is dealing with the doctors´ departures. “We are trying to raise salaries within the system, it has been 10 percent in less than two years. Naturally, we would be glad if we could raise the pay more,” Nemecek said.
He said he also wants to simplify post-graduate eduction. “The respective bill has already been sent to the government´s legislative council and I believe that the government will debate it within two or three weeks.”
Hospitals and out-patient surgeries get money based on the decree on payment for treatments.
Nemecek said the general criticism of the decree only confirms that whatever the increase may be, there will be complaints.
Out-patient specialists want to take their case to the Constitutional Court
Nemecek said, however, the amount they have got for next year is unprecedentedly high and that there is not more money in the system.
This was also confirmed by health care insurers, who said they will fulfil the decree at the cost of creating reserves.
Smaller hospitals have already warned about that they will not have money for the promised 5 percent pay increase as from January.
Nemecek ascribes the situation where there have been no strikes or limits set so that more money has been secured for the system after a long time.
Former health minister Leos Heger (TOP 09) said the peace in health care is due to that striking doctors were strongly supported in the past by the left that was in opposition and unrest in health care benefited it.
“Now, on the contrary, it strongly subdues it and trade unions without support from the centre are largely weakened,” Heger said.
($1=25.218 crowns)

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