Doctors around the country closed down their offices on Thursday in protest at late payments from the state-run health insurance company VZP. Around a fifteen hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the Health Ministry building in Prague in support of the private doctors' strike. The doctors were joined in the demonstration by pharmacists and dentists, and by some politicians from the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats.
During the protest there were calls for the resignation of the Health Minister Milada Emmerova, who was blamed for the current cash-flow crisis. Talks between Mrs Emmerova and doctors are to continue after a two-hour meeting on Thursday afternoon ended in deadlock.