First-aid medical care (LSPP) in clinics should only be available until 22:00 as an analysis carried out by the Health Ministry has revealed that outpatient emergency care is sought by only a small number of people at night, the head of the Association of Private Doctors (ASL), Ladislav Pasztor, said on July 14 to the TASR newswire.
Smer party MP Jozef Valocký came up with a proposal recently that LSPP clinics should close their doors at midnight but Pasztor points out in such a case nurses in particular would face problems getting home.
Pasztor added that the current way in which LSPP functions infringes an EU regulation that stipulates that there should be a break of at least eight hours between a worker's individual shifts. According to Pasztor, remuneration is also a problem with LSPP, as doctors in some regions receive only 70 euro cents per hour. ASL proposes that the hourly rate should be €20.
Valocký's proposal which has already been submitted to parliament would close outpatient medical departments at midnight. According to the initiative which has the Health Ministry's backing, people would then have to call hospitals for advice or have emergency teams come out to collect them. The ministry wants to approve the measure in November.
Other experts say that this kind of emergency service shouldn't be judged by how many people need it, but according to the principle that doctors should be available at all times. Some doctors have also warned that if people with only mild health problems call emergency vehicles instead of going to outpatient departments, teams and vehicles could be unavailable for more serious cases. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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15. Jul 2009 at 10:00