A crisis in the Czech health care sector seems to be definitely over. The Doctor Trade Union announced that they agree with the proposal of Health Care Minister Leoš Heger from the conservative TOP 09, with two thirds of the representatives of regional offices voting in favor.
The agreement obliges rebelling doctors to withdraw their resignations and minister Heger to provide CZK two billion (EUR 80 mil) to increase their salaries. Also, doctors were promised to be allowed to participate on the preparation of health care reforms.
“It is necessary that everybody understand that the time of saving and cuts is here,” Heger commented on doctors’ agreement with his proposal.
The minister’s decision was approved by the government.
“We are not leaving after all”
“The withdrawal of resignations will start three days after the signature of the agreement,” said Martin Engel, the chairman of the Doctor Trade Union, adding that they are willing to sign the agreement immediately.
Thus, Czech doctors have managed to get CZK two billion (EUR 80 mil) for hospitals to be used on salaries. The money will come from the health care resources, not from the state budget.
If this agreement had not been reached, as much as one fifth of Czech doctors could have quit by March 2011.
In an initiative called “Thanks, we are leaving”, 3,800 out of roughly 15-18,000 doctors working in Czech hospitals gave notice, explaining they prefer to work abroad, in countries with more doctor-friendly environment, such as Germany. The unions were asking for salaries to be increased by CZK 8-12,000 (EUR 320-480).