Czech Republic: Nurse shortage to hit health care quality

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




(2008), "Czech Republic: Nurse shortage to hit health care quality", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 21 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Czech Republic: Nurse shortage to hit health care quality

Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 21, Issue 5

Keywords: Nursing resources, Reward systems, Healthcare delivery

“There is a shortage of nurses in the Czech Republic that threatens to lower the quality of health care,” Czech Nurses Association (CAS) president Dana Juraskova told journalists.

She said that foreigners were unable to fill the gap and that while so far nurses lacked only in Prague and other big towns their shortage is now visible across the country.

“According to the latest statistics, there are 78,000 nurses in the Czech Republic, including 5,000 in Prague. In Prague alone, more than 400 nurses are lacking. No one has counted how many of them are lacking across the country,” Juraskova said.

“The average monthly wage of nurses is about 21,000 crowns which means that the nurse receives for very demanding work with night and weekend shifts, without sufficient rest and with great responsibility for the health and lives of patients 1,000 crowns less than the average wage in the Czech Republic,” Juraskova said.

Many nurses thus leave the health sector in search of work in other better-paid sectors.

According to last year’s poll conducted by the Nurse journal, 40 percent of nurses would not have opted for their current profession if they had decided now.

The fact that Slovak nurses are no longer interested in working in the Czech Republic after their wages were raised in Slovakia has worsened the situation.

In 2006, there were 2,249 Slovak nurses with work permits in the Czech Republic and the latest statistics is not available.

Deputy Health Minister Marketa Hellerova said Monday that the ministry intends to support targeted training of nurses. As of next year, it will provide money to hospitals to finance training of nurses and wages of nurses in branches and regions where they are lacking.

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