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ČLK head: Situation in health care improves only slightly

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Prague, Feb 12 (CTK) – The situation in Czech health care has improved only slightly, Czech Doctors’ Chamber (CLK) head Milan Kubek has told CTK in relation to the CLK campaign Health Care Calling SOS launched two years ago.

“The personnel crisis in the underfunded health care system is going on and medical treatment keeps being available only thanks to a systematic and permanent violation of the Labour Code,” said Kubek who has been heading the CLK since 2006.

Due to a lack of staff in Czech hospitals, many doctors and nurses are forced to work a lot of overtime.

Kubek appreciated that the government raised salaries, but said the government failed to push through an amendment to the Labour Code that would increase salaries for staff in all Czech hospitals.

He also said the increase in health insurance payments for children, students, pensioners and the unemployed, which are covered by the state, was insufficient.

Under the current plan, the sum that the state pays to health insurance companies on behalf of the above groups is to annually increase by about 3.5 billion crowns in the next three years.

The CLK also calls for changes in the education of doctors and for the introduction of a health tax imposed on tobacco and alcohol, it wants to have the right to check the personnel situation in hospitals and criticises the law on electronic prescriptions.

Kubek said the parliament was only passing the buck when it decided that doctors have the duty to issue electronic prescriptions as of January but will not be fined if they do not issue them.

He said the CLK does not oppose online health care, but computerisation must help doctors in their work, it must be optional and patients must have the right to reject it.

Kubek said the present cabinet of Andrej Babis (ANO), which has been ruling in resignation since January, acts as if it were a standard government and the CLK must respect it.

However, it will turn out only after some time whether the bills that Babis’s government is preparing will be passed by the parliament, he said.

“From time to time, we get into conflict with politicians who fail to resist the temptation to try to destroy an opponent whom they are unable to persuade by their arguments,” Kubek said.

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