“There is a consensus that the income of doctors should be increased. But there is no agreement on how,” said the health ministry chief after the meeting. And speaking at a press conference, the president of the Czech Medical Chamber, Milan Kubek, attacked him severely. “The minister does not understand the gravity of the situation. We have 17 days until the end of November,” Kubek said, referring to the fact that there is supposed to be another meeting next Tuesday, this time with the tripartite.
Thousands of doctors will stop working overtime from December. Due to this, most hospitals had to adjust hospital operations and introduce shift operation. However, planned activities will be limited at least in several places.
“Professor Wallek prioritizes the state of the state budget on health care availability,” Kubek said. “I am very disappointed with the negotiations. We’re not moving anywhere on the pay issue,” said Martin Engel, president of medical associations.
Válek: 60 percent of income in Czech hospitals goes to salaries, more than in the West
Unions and doctors are demanding that the ministry intends to increase the salaries of doctors in directly managed hospitals from January, which will apply to all hospitals not established by the ministry. Classification of doctors also changes after graduation in salary grades. In December, doctors at teaching hospitals will receive new salary rates, Waleck promised.
According to him, 6.8 billion has been allocated in the reimbursement order for other hospitals. However, according to unions, distribution of reward money does not guarantee anything. They are asking for an increase in the common ground for all. But Valek refused. Instead, he wants to raise the bar with the lowest paid. Unions and doctors disagreed.
If anything is agreed upon, a separate law should be made regarding the remuneration of doctors. But it will not apply before January 2025.
From this year, former health minister Leos Heger’s promise from 2011 to link doctors’ salaries to the average wage will also be fulfilled. Their amount is 1.5 to 3 times higher than the average annual wage in the national economy of the Czech Republic two years earlier.
Code in the room
Doctors stress that they are concerned about complying with the law. The ministry has already sent to the Chamber of Deputies an amendment to the labor law that would allow 24-hour non-stop work in hospitals. Likewise, the section that increased the number of possible overtime hours per year to 832 hours is repealed. It will return to half in 416 hours.
Kubek, however, criticized Válek for not incorporating their demand to unify the salaries of doctors at all hospitals in the amendment.
Representatives of hospitals and insurance companies also participated in Monday’s meeting. Even representatives of small Czech and Moravian hospitals believe in systematic change in the healthcare sector.
Doctors were also asked to have more control over education, where monitoring would be done by coordinators in hospitals.