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HN: Ukrainians are best for making up for lack of Czech nurses

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Prague, Feb 24 (CTK) – Ukraine seems to be the only source of nurses for Czech hospitals who lack them, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) quotes Miloslav Ludvik, director of Prague’s largest hospital in Motol that is short of 60 nurses, as saying.

HN writes that Czech hospitals lack so many nurses now that they have to reduce the numbers of beds, which prompts hospital directors and professional organisations to propose the recruitment of nurses from abroad as an immediate solution.

Czech medical staff have of late been leaving for Austrian and German health care facilities, or outside their branch, where they are better paid for less arduous work, HN writes.

In the Czech Republic, the raising of salaries to attract new nurses has only been talked about and the planned reduction of education that would send nurses more quickly into practice will only bring effect in several years.

The Health Ministry has already asked Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek to help tip localities, from where the needed staff could be sent to the Czech Republic, HN writes.

Deputy Health Minister Lenka Teska Arnostova has said the Czech Republic has a big and good experience with Ukraine and that Slovakia and Poland are also possible options, HN writes.

The import of nurses from the two countries could be quite quick. The Poles would only need to pass a language test, while Slovaks do not even do this because Slovak is very close to Czech and besides, they already often work in Czech hospitals, HN writes.

However, it is also a question of the readiness to go to the Czech Republic, which Ludvik sees mainly in Ukraine, whose citizens would have to pass a specialist test in Czech, however.

“We will not probably be able to employ them as nurses right away, they will have first to do auxiliary works while learning Czech,” Ludvik said.

He said he would like the Foreign Ministry to include Ukrainian nurses in the list of employees who are given labour permits in a more accommodating way.

The ministry has already approved such an attitude for 500 most qualified Ukrainians and it is now considering extending the project to lower-qualified positions, HN writes.

Martina Sochmanova told HN that there exists no other solution but the import of staff because the Czech Republic did not react in time to the decreasing numbers of health school graduates.

The total dropped by 36 percent during the past 30 years, HN writes.

Ludvik said his hospital lacks some 60 nurses and that is why he is trying to persuade women with small children to cut short their parental leave and return to the hospital.

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