Prague, Sept 21 (CTK) – An extraordinary congress of the Czech Doctors’ Chamber (CLK) will deal with a draft emergency plan to tackle current problems of the healthcare system on Thursday.
CLK president Milan Kubek will present proposals for securing more money in healthcare and its fair redistribution as well as a reform of the education of doctors and nurses at the congress.
In the spring, the CLK called on the government to solve the problems of the Czech healthcare system. But nothing has happened since then, Kubek said.
“Our healthcare system is drastically underfinanced, it suffers from a desperate lack of qualified personnel and in most hospitals, healthcare is secured only thanks to a systemic violation of the Labour Code,” Kubek told CTK yesterday.
The CLK demands a rise in healthcare funding and a fair distribution of the finances.
The introduction of a health tax on tobacco and alcohol and a regular indexation of health insurance payments for the state insured, such as children, students, pensioners and the unemployed, would bring more money to healthcare, the CLK proposes.
The indexation is also pushed for by Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD), while Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) is against it.
The CLK wants healthcare staff to be better paid and the rules of remuneration in hospitals according to payment schemes be unified.
Babis says in a letter sent to Kubek and released on the Finance Ministry’s website that the CLK threatens sustainability of the whole system by its demands for raising payments for the state insured.
The healthcare system cannot do without systemic changes and no emergency plan will help, Babis writes.
He points out that the revenues from public health insurance have been rising in the past years and will amount to 274 billion crowns in 2017 and healthcare expenditures make up 7.6 percent of GDP, which, he said, is the most in the history of the Czech Republic.
“This is why it cannot be true that healthcare is dramatically underfinanced,” Babis said.
Billionaire businessman Babis owns the Agrofert food and media concern. Via the Hartenberg fund, Babis also co-owns a network of the FutureLife clinics focused on assisted reproduction and genetics.
The CLK congress delegates will also deal with planned changes in the education of doctors and nurses.
“Our aim is to lower the number of specialisations to make doctors be replaceable more easily and to have more comprehensive qualification. If we have so many fields as yesterday, we will always be short of doctors,” Kubek said.
The CLK now minds the proposed changes to the respective bill submitted during the debate on it in the Chamber of Deputies since some of them would raise the number of medical fields again.
The CLK has invited a number of politicians across the parties to the congress. Along with Nemecek, the heads of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies health committees, Jan Zaloudik (unaffiliated for the CSSD) and Rostislav Vyzula (ANO), have confirmed their attendance.