The fact that such payments exist has prompted state finance officials to add outpatient clinics to the ranks of trades which from 2018 will be required to only electronically registered receipts under EET, or the electronic records of sales system.
Outpatient doctors are up in arms over the requirement, protesting that EET should not apply in their case because the takings from the payments play no more than a marginal role in their overall revenue. They are demanding EET exemptions, pointing out that their income arrives in a bank account via transfers from health insurers.
EET should not extend to physicians with annual cash takings of less than CZK 60,000 a year, in the view of the Association of Outpatient Specialists [SAS]. Should the doctors be required to buy EET-compatible cash registers simply because of a handful of occasionally performed services it might make more sense for them to stop providing such services altogether. “Services that are today paid for in cash on the spot might simply disappear,” said Zorjan Jojko, chairman of the SAS.
The doctors may have an ally in health minister Svatopluk Němeček. “In principle, the health ministry does not object to the introduction of exemptions,” said ministry spokesperson Ladislav Šticha.
The demand for exemptions is also likely to receive support from other organisations grouping medical professionals. The request made sense, said Michal Sojka, spokesperson for the Czech Medical Chamber [ČLK].
“We are rather afraid the introduction of EET could hasten decisions of our aged colleagues to quit their practice and go into retirement,” said Václav Šmatlák, chairman of the Union of General Practitioners [SPL]. More than 15 percent of the country’s GPs are aged 65 or more. Very often they are found running surgeries in places not exactly in great demand among younger colleagues. Representatives of the stomatology chamber recently not long ago also expressed anxieties about EET prompting doctors to retire.
Market stallkeepers selling farm products recently requested that the agriculture ministry grant them an EET exemption, while opposition parties have said all small traders should be exempted.