The government wants to save around CZK 100 million in public health spending this year with more than 100 jobs to be axed despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Czech healthcare unions who issued a strike alert in response to the planned budget cuts, said.
“We have been trying for a long time to increase the payments and to get to the EU level in terms of the money that goes into the health care system. We need to have a good quality healthcare system, well-functioning hospitals, primary care and a healthcare system that is developing,” said the head of the Health and Social Care Trade Union Dagmar Žitníková for Seznam Zprávy.
“This was going well and suddenly we found out that the health care system and the whole system that managed the COVID-19 should pay the most for it.”
“We were surprised. We have been living under stress for two years, working Saturdays, Sundays, overtime. We did not expect a pay raise, but taking jobs away from us – we are really frustrated,” said Alena Wilhemlová, a worker at the Ústí Regional Hygienic Station, who is also vice-president of the regional union.
Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09, EPP) respects the union’s decision to declare a strike alert.
However, he promised that planned austerity measures would not jeopardize the quality or availability of healthcare.