Czech Shortage
 

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Czech Shortage

 

Czech Shortage

The number of dentists in the Czech Republic could drop by a third over the next 15 years unless medical schools receive more money from the state.

These are the findings of a study just completed for the Czech Chamber of Dentists.

It says every year roughly twice as many dentists retire as there are fresh graduates, and that more and more young dentists are leaving for the more lucrative pastures of
EU countries.

At present there are some 6,000 dentists in the republic, which means each of them has about 1,700 patients. The report says if the trend continues, in 15 years' time this figure might increase by 1,000.

Universities say that to train dentists they would need 200,000 crowns a year for each student. At present they receive half this amount.

Jiri Pekarek, president of the Czech Chamber of Dentists, says the number of dentistry students should be immediately increased and that in future years the intake should equal the number of dentists retiring.

It's also worried about the number of adverts appearing in medical magazines offering big money to work in England.
Rudolf Spacek, now working in Hampshire, is one who made the move. He told Radio Prague:
‘There is a huge shortage of dentists in the United Kingdom, and the British Government is very concerned about it and tries to invite as many dentists from abroad as they can. That's the reason I came over here.

‘As for dentistry, I think the British national health system is more clear, more honest and it's really fine to work in these conditions. The Czech system is kind of obscure, not very transparent, and I think both the patients and doctors are forced to use not very nice, illegal procedures, sometimes. So I wasn't happy there. That's maybe the biggest difference.’

Jiri Pekarek says the number of dentists opting to go to western European countries is not critical at present, but he expects it to increase.

‘So far we have registered just under 50 applications,’ he said. ‘But we cannot rule out that the number will rise once the generation with diplomas automatically recognised abroad graduates.

He added that the number of dentists leaving was related to conditions in the Czech Republic, where it was extremely difficult getting a loan to open a surgery, and where health insurance companies paid little and late.
‘If this legal situation does not change, it is understandable that our dentists will seen work elsewhere where the conditions are better.’

The Czech prime minister has promised to set up a committee to look into the problems.

 Posted on : Mon 31st - Oct - 2005

 

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