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MfD: Hospitals refusing patients over lack of personnel

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Prague, April 13 (CTK) – Czech hospitals are refusing patients because they suffer from an acute shortage of doctors and especially nurses, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday.
Prague, too, was hit by the limitation of health care. Hospitals must cancel planned surgeries and oncological patients are given out-patient care instead of hospitalisation, MfD writes.
“Come at a different time or go elsewhere,” this is now often being heard by patients when seeking hospital care, it adds.
“Roughly one-quarter of beds are unavaliable now over the shortage of nurses,” a cardiologist, from the Teaching Hospital Kralovske Vinohrady in Prague, is quoted as saying.
“More patients are coming here than we are able to cope with,” he adds.
The General Teaching Hospital lacks 75 nurses. Due to this, beds in a number of its wards had to be closed, MfD writes.
The Motol Teaching Hospital said in its annual report that the lack of nurses posed the biggest threat to its operation.
As the facility is short of 90 nurses, it has to postpone some planned treatment.
“As beds in district hospitals are being closed, too, there is a bigger pressure on teaching hospitals,” a doctor is quoted as saying.
“This creates the pressure on shortening the time of hospitalisation,” he added.
Economic growth is one of the causes of the shortage of nurses, MfD writes.
“There is an interest in manpower. Pharmaceutical companies prefer to hire nurses to expensive doctors, ” Motol Teaching Hospital deputy director Jiri Cihar is quoted as saying.
“However, the main reason for the nurses’ departure is an incredibly complicated system of their education,” he added.
In Prague alone, 350 nurses are lacked at present. Outside Prague, there is also a sensible lack of doctors, MfD writes.
The worst situation is in the regions neighbouring with Germany.
However, some hospitals keep silent about their problems, MfD writes.
“They are reluctant to disclose the exact figures about the shortage of doctors and nurses because this does not cast a good light on them,” Michal Sojka, spokesman for the Czech Doctors’ Chamber (CLK), is quoted as saying.
“If it turns out that there is less health personnel than it ought to be, health insurance companies might terminate their contracts with them,” Sojka said.
The treatment of patients is not as threatened as the CLK claims it to be, representatives of the Coalition of Private Doctors and Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek said on Tuesday.
The CLK has warned that hospitals may be forced to stop operating due to a lack of doctors and nurses and it has called for a marked increase in the salaries of the hospital staff.

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