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Doctor, can you give me change?

David Rath never shies away from making bold statements. But this time we should take the shadow health minister seriously. He announced he would boycott charging doctors' fees at his private clinic.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt

David Rath never shies away from making bold statements. But this time we should take the shadow health minister seriously. He announced he would boycott charging doctors' fees at his private clinic. The cabinet may have pushed through the mandatory fees last week, but no one is able to explain exactly what the long-awaited reform will bring for doctors and patients. Confusion surrounding the fees reveals, moreover, that the cabinet still doesn't have a clear idea how to fix the badly organised and economically inefficient Czech health-care system.

On edge

It all went a little bit too fast. So fast that there wasn't time left for even the most important information. „Do I get sufficient income from those fees or not?“ asks Václav Chytil, his eyes locked on the computer monitor in front of him. „There was something about that in the papers today.“ Chytil isn't among those who should have to consult the papers to find out about doctors' fees. This bearded doctor has been operating a clinic in Prague's Košíře district for 15 years. According to the amendment to the law on health insurance, approved by deputies as part of the reform package last week, he will need to start charging every patient who walks into his office CZK 30, starting 1 January. There is still some time before the launch of the new policy, but people are already getting nervous. "Unfortunately, no…

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