The CMKOS Open Letter to the Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas
Mr Prime Minister, stop the anti-social reforms!
Dear Prime Minister,
Let me, on behalf of 32 trade unions, which constitute the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, to address you by this open letter. We have principal reservations concerning the draft laws currently debated in the Government and Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament. The drafts in question are those concerning social and health care reforms.
Despite the promises of the Minister of Health Leoš Heger the draft laws submitted to the Members of Parliament do not respect any of principal positions of social partners that have arisen from tripartite negotiations.
The drafts fundamentally change the philosophy and substance of Czech health care and social systems. The fact that they were submitted to the Deputies without a basic information on proposals made at tripartite negotiations, that they ignore all CMKOS proposals we consider not only as a lack of interest of the Government to seek consensus and judge risks and impacts of these so called reforms. This was also the main reason why the CMKOS suspended its participation at the tripartite negotiations on 21st April 2011.
We have warned many times that the draft law on public health insurance, now in the first reading in the Parliament, brings about a large commercialisation of health care that is in our view in breach with the Czech Constitutional Order and even with the Policy Statement of your Government. Your Government committed itself not to "permit a reduction in the quality and access to health care and effective disease prevention". The key negative change never seriously explained to the public is in article 13 of the draft. The Minister deceptively explains this article as offering to patients a possibility to pay extra for "over standard" treatment. In fact the truth is quite opposite - the article means that only the cheapest treatment and care will be covered and everything else will have to be paid by the citizens. Another evidence of the commercialisation of health care is the draft law on health services which aims to transform health care into services. It also introduces commercial environment into the relation patient - medical doctor, leaving the care for people's health to market principles. This was already once resolutely rejected by the public. The CMKOS considers as very controversial the proposals to establish six more health registers - besides the existing National Health Register - and their interlinking with the public administration. We warned against the risk of interlinking the data on injuries, hospitalisations, autopsies etc. with the population register. We also draw attention to its ill-conceived interlinking with the so called "social card" which should serve as identification but also payment means for everybody using the social system. No country has dared yet to collect sensitive data of its citizens in the way which may be so easily misused.
The social reform submitted by the Minister of Labour Jaromír Drábek is immoral and it will not help to public finances. This intention to save Governmental expenditures is inefficient. It will destroy the present social system that effectively protects people against poverty. The Minister Drábek does not analyse the consequent impacts of the new social problems, including the increase of criminality, which in the end will cost much, much more. The reform imposes new handicaps on the handicapped and degrades them to the position of third category citizens.
Dear Prime Minister,
On 21st May 2011 the citizens, employees, voters want to express strongly their discontent with the reforms proposed by the Government - the pension, taxation, health and social reforms. Would you find courage to address them and tell the truth? Or you will just label them as a couple of dissatisfied "troublemakers"? This demonstration is a serious warning against possible stronger steps.
We ask you, Dear Prime Minister, to understand that reforms should change things for the better.
We ask you, Dear Prime Minister, to stop Governmental reforms that will damage majority of citizens, to stop hazarding with health and fates of people.
Prague, 12th May 2011