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PM supports 10-percent pay rise for hospital staff in 2017

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Prague, April 13 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) agrees with the 10-percent pay rise for hospital staff from 2017, he told journalists yesterday after his talks with a crisis team of hospitals and trade unions that voiced this demand.
Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (CSSD) took part in the negotiations with the representatives of the unions and hospitals as well.
Sobotka said he will support the demand that the state pay higher health insurance payments on behalf of children, pensioners and the unemployed.
He also expressed support for regular valorizations of the salaries so that Czech doctors and nurses are given a long-term perspective.
“I believe we cannot risk that doctors and nurses would leave abroad. It seems to me that we must give them a long-term perspective showing that it pays to stay in the (Czech) healthcare system. Not only because of money, but also because we will guarantee them a functioning system of health care provision and the best possible conditions for their work, and first of all stable long-term conditions,” he said.
Sobotka said a signal of long-term stability seems to be the best way of making doctors and nurses remain in Czech hospitals.
Petr Fiala, from the Association of Bohemian and Moravian Hospitals, said all the participants in the talks yesterday agreed that they want to give hope to everybody who works in the healthcare sector.
The main goal is to keep the medical staff that has not left the health care system yet and bring back those employees who have already left, Fiala said.
The next meeting scheduled for May will discuss the proposals of the crisis team and the possibilities of the government, he said.
Fiala said the crisis team called for an increase of the salaries by one third by 2019, or by 10 percent in each of the three years.
Czech Doctors’ Trade Union leader Martin Engel said it was too early to be satisfied, although the result seemed positive as the proposals of the crisis team were not completely rejected.
“The health minister was tasked to present all situations that could help the healthcare system,” Engel said.
Sobotka said the salaries should go up not only in state-run hospitals but also in those administered by regions. Regional authorities should pledge to increase the pay in a memorandum signed by the regions and the central government, he added.
He said he would discuss the pay rise and other related issues in the cabinet and with the coalition partners, the ANO movement of Finance Minister Andrej Babis and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).
Sobotka said further computerisation of data should make the administrative burden carried by doctors and nurses lighter.
He said two key bills on the reforms of the education of doctors and nurses need to be passed in order to speed up the education process.
($1=23.717 crowns)

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