Due to state-controlled and largest Czech health insurer VZP’s planned “strategy of renegotiating contractual relations” the administrative centers of 12 Czech districts, including Děčín, Cheb and Kutná Hora, along with a series of other provincial towns, are set to lose their hospitals — or so says the news server aktualne.cz. However, VZP claims the report is unfounded and says it will sue fror damages.
According to Czech Chamber of Doctors (ČLK) figures cited by Czech Television (ČT), 172 freshly qualified doctors left the Czech Republic to work abroad in 2011, compared to 135 in 2010. The chamber said the majority found work in medical institutions in Germany.
Czech state-controlled Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna (VZP) voted on Monday to boost its stake in electronic medical records company IZIP to 51 percent. Far from a vote of confidence in the problem-hit company, VZP’s move will likely pave the way for the health insurer to sever its cooperation with the ill-fated and highly suspicious project.
The Largest Czech health insurer, state-controlled General Health Insurance (VZP), says it is spending all income as soon as it is received and its reserves would not cover even two days of operation: as a result the insurer says it may make late payments to doctors’ surgeries and hospitals for patient treatment; pledges to raise doctors salaries may have to be abandoned.
Statistics show that the incidence of viral intestinal infections has increased eightfold in 10 years, but doctors are divided over the causes of the increase. Eight Czech residents have died of dysentery caused by intestinal infections so far this year, none of which were caused by the E-coli virus. One piece of good news from the State Institute of Health is that the number of salmonella outbreaks has decreased significantly over the past decade.
In the case of emergencies like polytraumas, there is a “golden hour” within which a patient should be delivered to hospital following an accident. But with the exception of the Central Military Hospital, heliports and landing spots at hospitals in Prague are not only ill situated for transfers to operating theaters, they require patients to be taken considerable distances on stretchers or in ambulances.
The financier Jan Blaško has purchased PPF Group healthcare assets through Tuffieh Funds, which he founded at the start of this year. Blaško used to work as a top manager in PPF, overseeing projects in the health sector, before he left to help found his investment fund.
Neither the Ministry of Health, the Doctors’ Trade Union (LOK), nor most individual hospitals are keeping statistics on the level of expertise of doctors who have resigned as part of the “Thank you, we’re leaving” campaign. In support of the protest, more than 3,500 hospital doctors have turned in notices, with their resignations effective as of March 1. But as the ministry cannot force hospitals to prepare analyses, how can it prepare emergency contingency plans?
If the government agrees to raise doctors’ wages to the levels they are demanding, it would cost the state an extra Kč 5 billion a year, Minister of Health Leoš Heger (Public Affairs, VV) told Czech Position. A major salary hike for doctors would spark similar demands from nurses and other hospital staff, which would cost a further Kč 5 billion annually, he says.