Police have uncovered an illegal marihuana plantation in Kladno, near Prague, the CTK news agency reported on Wednesday. Officers, who were alerted to the activity due to a significantly higher electricity consumption, confiscated close to two thousand fully grown plants. Two people have been charged.
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.
Health Minister Leoš Heger received strong support from the country’s president on Friday when the two met for talks at Prague Castle. The move comes a day after the minister presented his reforms for the sector, and the same day some doctors repeated their pledge to quit over current wages. The embattled minister faces a departure of roughly a quarter of hospital doctors if he doesn’t raise salaries. That is something he has refused to do, and he is sticking to his guns.
The revolt of hospital doctors is over. The fact that close to 4,000 of them have handed in their notice over low pay has left the government unfazed and in some cases the authorities say the resignations will work in their favour –by helping them undertake a much-needed overhaul of the network of health care providers.
The Czech Health Minister, Leoš Heger, is planning to pump some five billion crowns from some of the country’s smaller health insurance companies, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Thursday. The daily said these firms have a surplus of around ten billion crowns; Mr Heger told the newspaper that half of those funds could be used to patch the heath care system. The plan has met with opposition from the concerned health insurance companies whereas doctors’ trade unions said it was a good idea, albeit one that would take too long. The Czech Republic is facing mass departures of doctors; nearly one in four physicians in the country’s hospitals has filed their resignation in protest over low salaries.
Czech scientists are working on a substance that may revolutionarize the process of mending broken bones. The daily Mladá Fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday that scientists at the Chemical Faculty of the University of Technology in Brno are testing a revolutionary new hydro-gel which can be injected directly into the vicinity of a broken bone and will firmly fixate it within a matter of seconds. The gel moreover contains medicaments which speed up the healing process. Once the bone is fully healed the hydro-gel dissipates without any negative side effects. The substance is currently being tested on animals.
The Czech health minister, Leoš Heger, says regional governors may be forced to declare a state of emergency if, due to the planned mass exodus of doctors in 2010, hospitals are unable to provide acute care. If a state of emergency were declared, as happens after natural disasters, the regional authorities could order doctors to return to work. According to the daily Hospodářské Noviny regional governors are reluctant to use this tactic. Close to 4,000 of the country’s 16,000 hospital doctors are believed to have handed in their notice in protest against low salaries. Some hospitals say they stand to lose 70 to 80 percent of their staff.
Disgruntled Czech hospital doctors on Monday began handing in their resignations in an attempt to force the government to increase their salaries. Some 3,800 of the country’s 16,000 physicians are expected to hand in notices by the end of the week, which is when the hospitals will get a clearer picture of what will happen in March, when the resignations take effect. But Heath Minister Leoš Heger has come up with one idea for the hospitals that might face crisis due to understaffing.
Police in Prague arrested a 39-year-old foreign national on Wednesday night after they found 12 kilos of marihuana in his car, a police spokeswoman said. Officers stopped the man’s car for a regular check and found marihuana plants, dried marihuana leaves as well as electric fans and digital scales. The foreigner, who is already being prosecuted in another drug-related case, faces ten years in jail.