Doctors' strike technically starts but hospitals say services won't be radically limited

The partial strike announced by doctors working in hospitals, over 6,000 of whom refused to work additional overtime in December in protest at salary and working conditions for medical staff, began on Friday. However, it is not yet clear how much this will actually limit hospital services, due to the deal struck between the prime minister and the protesting doctors on Thursday. Some hospitals have said that because of the deal made with the prime minister, even planned minor operations will probably be able to take place, and any restrictions to services will probably only apply to the coming weekend and the first few days of next week.

Originally, hospitals were saying that due to the protests, they would only be able to provide emergency care, but after Thursday's agreement between doctors' unions and Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the vice president of the Czech Medical Chamber, Jan Přáda, called on doctors to abandon the protest. However, it will only officially be called off once the prime minister's offer of increased salaries for next year has been confirmed in writing, which should happen at the beginning of next week.

Author: Anna Fodor