President slams doctors over exodus

Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Friday slammed doctors who are leaving state hospitals over low pay as utterly irresponsible. Speaking after a meeting with Health Minister Leoš Heger the president expressed full support for his efforts to reform the health sector, saying that the present crisis might actually facilitate the much-needed overhaul of the network of health care providers. Meanwhile, doctors’ trade unions announced at a press conference on Friday that they were launching a second wave of the campaign “Thank You, We Are Leaving” in which he expected several hundred more physicians to hand in their notice. Up till now 3,800 of an overall 16,000 doctors working in state hospitals have resigned. The mass exodus is expected to hit hospitals at the start of March. The health minister has asked GPs and specialists in outpatient surgeries to take on extra patients if need be until the situation has been resolved.