Thursday, 17 January 2019

Health care staff to get 10 percent pay rise next year

ČTK |
4 May 2016

Prague, May 3 (CTK) - The salaries in the Czech health care will rise by 10 percent as of January 1, 2017, the coalition government, regional authorities, the doctors' chamber and trade unions agreed on Tuesday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) has told journalists.

In the days to come, the government will discuss the rise in the health insurance payments for state policy-holders.

Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek has proposed that the health payment be increased by 9.88 billion crowns.

Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) is ready to give two billion crowns, arguing that Nemecek should cut the costs.

Babis said next year, the money collected within health insurance would rise by nine billion crowns. "The Finance Ministry is ready to spend two billion crowns more on state policy-holders. As a result, the health care will receive 11 billion crowns more," he added.

"Six billion is enough for a 10 percent increase," Babis said.

He called on Nemecek to specify how he would distribute the 11 billion.

Babis wants him to carry out an analysis of the situation in the personnel situation of hospital care in individual regions.

"When it comes to the 10 percent pay rise, the coalition government has all but agreed on it, although it has not been confirmed by an official government resolution," Sobotka said.

In state hospitals, the doctors' average salary monthly was 62,735 crowns last year, but almost one half of it accounted for overtime work and services.

The base pay was 32,450 crowns a month. In the civil service as a whole, the average salary was 25,880 crowns.

Sobotka wants the rise to cover the health care staff in all, both state-run and regional, establishments.

In the state run hospitals, this is to be ensured by a pay grade system and in regional hospitals, by a memorandum the government wants to conclude with regional governors.

The plan also covers private hospitals that are paid from the health insurance system.

Sobotka said a number of steps had to be taken. In order to increase the salaries next year, the state has to increase the payments for state policy-holders.

In addition, the reform of education of doctors and nurses has to be finished and the legislation is already drafted, he added.

A new system of payments in hospitals should be introduced as of 2018, Sobotka said.

Due to the shortage of doctors, hospitals violate the labour code as doctors work 1,000 hours of overtime instead of the 416 hours allowed by the law.

Milan Kubek, president of the Czech Doctors' Chamber (CLK), said even the 10 percent rise would not resolve the current mass departure of doctors abroad.

He insists on creating an emergency plan.

The trade unions and hospitals demand that the salaries should be increasing by 10 percent for three years in a row, or by a third in total.

The CLK also wants the government to impose a health tax on tobacco and alcohol products to help finance the costs.

It wants to stage a protest action in order to highlight the shortage of doctors and conditions in hospitals in September or October.

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