Doctors protest pay cuts in the Czech Republic in 2008.Igor Sefr / AP

Sick of losing its health-care workers to other EU countries, the Czech Republic will raise the pay of doctors and nurses by 10 percent next year.

Milan Kubek, the head of the Czech Medical Council, said in March that of the 1,000 doctors who graduated last year in the country, 209 had left.  The departure of doctors and nurses has created a shortage in the county’s health-care system. As Reuters explains:

The Czech Republic has a universal insurance system that provides care to all citizens. But the costs have forced providers to keep salaries low, prompting many doctors to work in neighboring Austria and Germany or elsewhere in the European Union where they earn multiples of Czech salaries.

Czech doctors, on average, earn around $2,400 per month; the figure for nurses is about $1,140 per month, Reuters reports. Both professions pay twice as much in Germany, a favored destination. The average monthly salary in the Czech Republic is $1,208. The average monthly salary for doctors in Germany is around $5,700.

In 2010, amid harsh austerity measures, Czech doctors threatened a mass exodus if their wages were cut. The new measure, announced by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Tuesday, will go into effect next January.

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