You have already called the doctors to withdraw the notice of overtime work. Do you have information that they do?
Yes, they are honoring the agreement we made. Further negotiations regarding the December operation at individual hospitals are ongoing.
On the other hand, the Medical Trade Union Club, which took part in the negotiations, said its members at teaching hospitals in Brno and Hradec Kralove disagreed with the deal. Do you know how it is?
As I said, more personal arrangements are being made as to what happens next. But since the individual activities have to meet specific conditions, this will happen in late December. However, even there, as per my information, there are plans to withdraw the notices.
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So when will the operation of all hospitals in the Czech Republic return to normal?
At this point, the hospital knows they can gradually begin planning activities again from the patient’s perspective. This means that it will now be up to each hospital management how quickly they run it.
It should be noted that strict traffic is basically protected, so there is no change there. I think it will be within a few days.
Are you sure that what you have agreed with the representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Public Health Insurance Company (VZP) will be fully implemented?
You can never be 100% sure of anything. However, considering what the signatories of that agreement were, Mr. In the presence of the Prime Minister, considering that he has taken the matter somewhat under his wing, we hope these top lawyers will act seriously.
We intend to strive for constructive negotiations and will conclude an agreement in the coming months.
I ask because some hospital directors have spoken and expressed concern that the extra money agreed by you and the Prime Minister and the Minister is not enough to cover the increased pay for doctors.
Zdeněk Kabátek, director of the VZP, and Michal Čarvaš, director from the Association of Czech and Moravian Diseases, calculated the problems in calculating the rewards. At the time we signed, we believed these calculations and we believe it will be sufficient for the increase.
What if that’s not enough? Will you protest again?
The question has arisen whether the doctors will get paid. If the money reaches them, it is a settled matter from our point of view.
Milan Kubek, president of the Czech Medical Chamber, said that both sides, you, the doctors’ representatives, and the ministry had to compromise some of their demands in order to reach an agreement. What exactly did you discount?
On the one hand, we waived the original funding requirements. On the one hand, we discount the timetable of changes that need to happen. We must also realize that the main issue we tackled as part of the initiative was excessive overtime work in the Czech healthcare sector.
It’s definitely something we can’t implement so quickly. However, negotiations for next year have already been arranged so that we can think about how to use Czech doctors effectively.
Wasn’t it wrong that your practice boss Kubek made a last-minute request for seniority to you doctors this week?
I’m afraid the communication is a bit unfortunate. On the one hand, those benefits are tied to professions covered by the Service Act. This is something doctors don’t like.
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According to my interpretation, this idea is appropriate to take into account not only doctors, but also other workers who work for twelve months in a year, fifteen months within some social organizations.
Who do you think miscommunicated? Mister Kubek?
I think yes. That thought was unhappily expressed in the form of the word slavery.
Because of this, he faces calls to step down as head of the Czech Medical Chamber. Is his resignation on the table?
I’m not afraid. They were some buzz on the internet, and at this point I don’t know what real impact they have on the organizational structure of the chamber. I don’t understand now that something like that should happen.
So you’ve ruined it. President Kubek admits that he did not convey the whole matter in a cheerful manner, and continues.
You should ask him first. I discussed this with him and the fact is that this point was already in our joint statement in September and it was worded somewhat differently than it was presented, which I think is not entirely happy.
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When you look back on those weeks or months you spent with the Ministry of Health and extending the VZP, do you think it was beneficial to the reputation of your policy that you would not work overtime if the hospitals did not accommodate you? General Czech doctors?
I think, for one simple reason. The public learned about the overtime work that the Czech healthcare system relies on. I think a lot of people realize that this is not going to happen in the future. It should be the engine of some change in the coming months.
Czech hospitals should aim to operate without a thousand hours of overtime per year, but only an ordinary population, like any other employee in the Czech Republic.
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