THE SLOVAK Health Ministry is accepting applications for its first grant meant to combat the shortage of certain medical professions in the country, the SITA newswire wrote in April.
The grant is called "Supplementing the Health Care System with Qualified Professionals" and is funded by the EU Education Operational Programme.
It is one of the steps aimed at stabilising medical employees, increasing their qualification, and supporting specialised education, ministry spokesperson Silvia Horváthová said.
The grant is focused on general practitioners, dentistry, anaes-thesiology, intensive medicine, clinical oncology, clinical immunology, and allergology.
"We have chosen these disciplines because Slovakia has the biggest shortage in these fields," Horváthová explained.
The call for submitting grant applications should last for three months and totals Sk14 million (€437,500).
The grant can be used for two activities. The first is support to supplement and stabilise the number of medical employees in regions. This activity will be aimed at ambulatory and institutional providers.
"The employee will have to commit to staying in medicine for at least a year or face sanctions," said Marek Vanko, general manager of the Health Ministry's European Programmes Division.
The minimum grant for one region is Sk500,000. The maximum is Sk2 million.
The second activity is conducting analysis of the state of human resources at medical facilities in different regions. The maximum amount of this kind of grant is Sk100,000.
All regions are eligible, except the Bratislava Region. The ministry expects every region to address 30 to 40 doctors.
On the expectation that interest will be high, doctors can apply without the help of the regional administration. If they are accepted and participate in the project, 100 percent of their wage and all study costs will be reimbursed.