Doctors across Visegrad 4 to stage protest
The chairman of the Czech Doctors’ Union, Martin Engel, has revealed that hospital doctors across the Visegrad 4 (which comprises the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) will stage a symbolic event on November 20 to protest current salaries and other conditions within the healthcare sector. Speaking to journalists on Monday, Mr Engel said the protest would last roughly half-an-hour and would not affect hospitals from functioning fully. Doctors are reportedly unhappy over salaries (wanting to earn as much as three times the monthly average) and – in the Czech Republic – are against what they see as ‘resignation’ by the Health Ministry allegedly allowing health insurance companies to dictate terms of treatment and coverage. In 2011, Czech doctors took part in a protest campaign threatening to quit unless they received pay hikes. Doctors in state hospitals now earn average salaries of more than 57,500 crowns a month; the average monthly salary in the country last year was less than 25,000.