Representatives of the Ministry of Health are to meet with the medical trade unions on Tuesday regarding the demands of the doctors. “I hope that we will make significant progress,” said Pláteník.
However, the problem may arise in the salary agreement. The salaryman warned that the ministry would not be able to negotiate a compromise with the doctors “halfway”. The financial demands of doctors are said to be too high. “The demands presented by the trade unionists and the Czech Medical Chamber are many times beyond our capabilities. (…) Those demands are so great that we are not even able to approach them with dignity,” said Pláteník.
Dr. Přáda’s initiative will advance healthcare the most in recent years
For now, the ministry only wants to add doctors with the lowest salaries. The unions want to increase the money across the board for everyone. According to them, the starting salary of a doctor should rise from today’s roughly 46,000 to 60,000 crowns, doctors with more than 32 years of experience should have 103,000 crowns instead of 63.5 thousand crowns.
The doctors are basing their demands on a 2011 memorandum with the government that followed the “Thank you, we’re leaving” campaign.
The agreement between the doctors and the ministry failed again on salaries
It was supposed to guarantee doctors a basic salary of 1.5 times the average salary. “This level would be on average in the surrounding countries,” said Vice President of the Czech Medical Chamber Jan Přáda. He approaches the next round of negotiations with the Ministry of Health with optimism. He warns that if the department does not listen to the voices of doctors, thousands of them will refuse to work overtime in December and will probably leave the field in the future.
After the agreement, the doctors would withdraw the statements
“If we were to agree, we would revoke the initiative so that the doctors withdraw their overtime notices,” said Přáda.
Doctors have run out of patience with overtime. They exceed the legal hourly limit. In protest against this, about six thousand doctors quit overtime. In addition to salary increases, they demand legislative changes and other measures that will reset the system and make care more efficient.
According to Pláteník, the doctors’ protest really started systemic changes.
“We provide care not very efficiently. We have a very broad, dense hospital network, not a very dense primary care network. The organization of care is not always completely efficient: very high staffing requirements, little-used technologies and the like… These are things that are being worked on,” said the deputy. “Dr. Přáda’s initiative will advance healthcare the most in recent years,” he added.
According to Přáda, doctors should pay more attention to patients and care, hospitals should hire other workers for administration.
Doctors’ representatives also discussed salaries with the Ministry of Health last week, but to no avail.
However, doctors at least appreciated the changes in the amendment to the Labor Code, which reintroduces 24-hour shifts. The amendment also cancels the recently adopted provision on additional voluntary overtime work, which should amount to 416 hours.