Prague, Oct 16 (CTK) – Pharmacists will join the planned protests of general practitioners and outpatient specialists and some of them will symbolically close pharmacies for half an hour on Wednesday morning, Czech Pharmacists’ Chamber (CLnK) spokeswoman Michaela Bazantova told CTK on Monday.

It is not sure yet how many pharmacies will close between 10:30 and 11:00 on Wednesday, but mainly those that are not incorporated in any big chains will do so, she added.

The largest network of pharmacies in the Czech Republic, Dr. Max, supports the protest, but it will keep all pharmacies open. The second largest chain, Benu, will not close any either.

General practitioners and outpatient specialists, including dentists, protest against rising red tape and underfunding of their offices.

About one-third of them will therefore close their offices on Wednesday.

GPs and other outpatient specialists criticise the Health Ministry for increasing the funding of hospitals primarily, while neglecting their surgeries.

They also mind new duties imposed on them by the state. They will be obliged to send all prescriptions electronically as of January 2018 and register sales as of March when the electronic sales registration (EET) is to apply to other professions as well.

Moreover, they point out that they will face a year-on-year decrease in payments according to the draft ministerial decree on the coverage of treatments from health insurance.

Pharmacists primarily criticise the fact that the prepared ministerial decree does not count with any compensation for the introduction of an e-prescription.

The CLnK points out that the pharmacies’ work load will increase up to three times due to this novelty.