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MfD: Czech doctors must implement e-prescribing

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Prague, Feb 16 (CTK) – Czech doctors will have to only issue electronic prescriptions as of next year, due to which 4,000 of them may end their careers, Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote on Thursday.

The new rules will cost the doctors time and money, but it will not help the patients, MfD writes, referring to the statement by Milan Kubek, chairman of the Czech Doctors’ Chamber (CLK).

Starting next January, only electronic prescriptions with a special bar code will be valid, MfD writes.

“The doctors who will not have a special software will be unable to prescribe drugs,” Kubek said.

“This will relate to thousands of doctors who have no computer or a reliable Internet connection,” he added.

Due to this, up to 4,000 doctors may end their careers in the Czech Republic. There are roughly 40,000 doctors in it, while rural areas in particular struggle with their shortage, MfD writes.

Doctors argue that the current form of the e-prescription is good for nothing. The data from it are only rewritten by a pharmacist into the electronic form. The pharmacists sends it to the central register of prescriptions at the drug office and this is all, it adds.

The State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL), administered by the Health Ministry, defends the e-prescription, saying it “brings a larger degree of patients’ safety when drugs are released and saves time in the work with the prescription,” MfD writes.

It says the functions of the e-prescription will be multiplied if the law on the access to patients’ personal data is amended.

“The state has been promising the advantages of the electronic prescriptions for almost a decade. Instead, it has spent almost one billion crowns on the system that has not brought any sizable advantages to patients and doctors,” a doctor is quoted as saying.

“No one but software firms have benefited from the affair,” he added.

Kubek says some doctors will be reluctant to acquire the special software and will end their careers.

“Roughly 10 percent of doctors do not have a computer attached to the Internet at present,” Kubek said.

“Maybe there will be many more doctors who will be reluctant to join the e-prescribing,” he added.

“Rather than complicating their lives, some doctors may plan to end their working career,” Kubek said.

He said he hoped the compulsory e-prescribing would be cancelled after the autumn election to the Chamber of Deputies.

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