The Health Ministry is putting together a new job catalogue, which shows that the salaries of young doctors will be lowered by CZK 3,000 per month. This measure would affect all doctors who graduated from medical school and entered the so-called specialisation training. According to the new catalogue, they would move to the 11th salary grade for two years.
A catalogue, a basic document determining salary classification of individual professions, is currently being put together by the Health and Labour Ministries. The document is in the last phase open to comments and it should be presented to the cabinet during the month of October and should come to force as of January next year. In case it is endorsed in its present form, the young doctors’ salaries will be lowered by CZK 1,500-CZK 3,000. Their current salaries are already quite low at some CZK 17,500 in the 12th grade.
Exodus of Czech doctors
“Parts of the catalogue amending the classification of the medical workers into lower salary grades react to the different execution of some of the operations and they are also connected to the upgrading of the qualification of the fastidiousness of individual operations,” said Vlastimil Sršeň, Health Ministry spokesman.
According to the current catalogue, the new doctors belong to the 11th grade only for two month and immediately after commencing the specialisation training, necessary for medical practice, they move one grade higher. This procedure is cancelled by the new catalogue.
Medical unions and the Czech Medical Chamber (ČLK) are displeased by the Ministry’s move and complain that the new regulation was prepared without their knowledge. “The proposal is absolutely unacceptable. It means a disruption of the whole system of the specialisation education. Moreover, gloomy financial conditions of today are already driving dozens of young doctors abroad,” said President of the ČLK Milan Kubek. According to him, some 200 to 250 doctors leave the country every year, mainly for Germany and Great Britain. Often the fresh graduates leave even before beginning work. “The Czech Republic is already suffering from the lack of young doctors. Hospitals lack more than 600, they search for them through labour offices but in vain,” Kubek said. “The Chamber has written a letter to the Health Minister. We will try to get the new catalogue re-done.” ČLK stands a chance. Ministry says the new regulation is not in its final form yet.
Adding and taking away
Health Ministry proposes to lower the salaries only two months after increasing them. “Financial evaluation of the medical workers is Ministry’s priority. This can be seen in the average 7% salary increase as opposed to increases of 3.5% in other professions,” Sršeň said. Almost simultaneously, the Ministry introduced other changes, much less advantageous for the doctors. These include fees for specialisation exams. The new doctors need to pay CZK 7,000 for them as of July.