Czech doctors to get 75% of additional CZK 2bn financing.

By bne IntelliNews February 3, 2011
Health minister Leos Heger has decided to allocate 75% of the additional CZK 2bn, he promised to give for higher wages in the healthcare sector, to increase the salaries of doctors, CTK newswire reported. The remaining 25% will go for wages of nurses and other medical staff. Hegers decision to allocate more money to the healthcare system is part of the governments efforts to alleviate a crisis in the sector, as over a quarter of hospital doctors handed in their notices at end-December demanding higher wages. The minister has since then held a number of meetings with the Doctors Union (LOK) and the Doctors Chamber (CLK) to try to find a solution to the problem. Doctors demand that the money is used only for their pay rise, while Heger and PM Pert Necas are firmly in favour of using the money for the entire healthcare personnel. The doctors originally wanted that their base pay is raised 1.5 to 3 times the average wage in the country, depending on qualification and practice. Meanwhile, the parliaments lower house passed in a shortened procedure on February 2 a draft legislation which extends the powers of nurses as part of the governments plans to reform the sector in order to ensure higher efficiency and more savings. The nurses are to provide certain services, which are part of doctors tasks before they officially reach the required qualification. The lower chamber also passed a draft law decreasing the maximum prices of medicines and payments by health insurers by 7%. These medicines account for about a third of all medicines on the local market. The same measure was valid also in 2010.

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