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Ukrainian doctors not to work in Czechia without exams any more

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Prague, April 17 (CTK) – The project enabling physicians, pharmacists and dentists from Ukraine to work in the Czech Republic without the necessary exams will end soon, but it will continue for nurses, representatives of professional chambers said after a meeting with PM Andrej Babis (ANO) on Tuesday.

The presidents of the Czech doctors, pharmacists and dentists’ chambers criticised the project.

However, Health Miniter Adam Vojtech, who also attended the meeting, said some hospitals in border regions welcomed the chance of getting doctors more easily.

The Ukraine project will be terminated within several weeks.

More than 200 physicians and dentists and some 130 nurses and other healthcare workers came to the Czech Republic within the project in two years.

The professional chambers’ presidents negotiated about the project unsuccessfully at the Health Ministry.

“As it is basically a government project, I wanted this meeting to be held and the prime minister to decide on this,” Vojtech said.

Tuesday’ decision will not please the regional hospitals’ directors who were satisfied with Ukrainian doctors, he added.

However, the professional chambers mainly criticised the fact that different rules applied to Ukrainians than to citizens of other countries outside the EU.

Doctors coming from them must pass language and professional exams, undergo obligatory practice and work under supervision which Ukrainians avoided thanks to the ministerial exception. Now they will have to seek approval proceedings.

Czech Dentists’ Chamber President Roman Smucler said the project threatened health care and was at variance with the Czech and EU laws.

The Czech Republic has accepted 1000 dentists from abroad, one-third of whom are Ukrainians, Smucler said, adding that patients complain about Ukrainian dentists more than about others.

However, Czech hospitals are short of doctors.

“The lack of doctors must be solved by improving working conditions of our doctors and not by threatening the patients’ safety by letting people who claim to be doctors work here,” Czech Doctors’ Chamber President Milan Kubek said.

The health and education ministries also jointly plan to raise the number of students of medicine faculties.

Number of Ukraine project participants in 2016-2017:

Physicians 157
Dentists 68
Pharmacists 1
Number of project participants from May 2016 to March 2018:

Assistant to dental technician 1
Midwife 3
General nurse 75
Laboratory worker 1
Healthcare assistant/practical nurse 50
Source: Health Ministry

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