The communist regime had been suppressing the intelligentsia for forty years in our country. Salaries of university graduates were often lower than those of workmen. For instance whereas lawyers after the so-called velvet revolution put through a conspicuous rise of their incomes, doctors took care of patients´ benefits. They were enthusiastic that after years of isolation they could use new equipment and modern drugs. It took them several years to understand that until they voiced vigorously their pay demand, they would become a laughing stock of politicians forever.
In 1995 we set up the Trade Union of Doctors (LOK) because neither the Medical Chamber nor the Trade Unions integrating all employees of medical and social services defended doctors´ interests. In the very first year of its existence, LOK organized three strikes of doctors with the aim of increasing substantially their salaries.
LOK-SČL became the only trade union representing doctors-employees in 2001 after the merger of Trade union of doctors (LOK) and the Association of Czech Doctors (SČL).
In 2000 LOK-SČL got a statute of observer and in 2002 became a full member of FEMS – European Federation of salaried doctors. With this step, LOK became actively participating in influencing the professional conditions of doctors in the European Union.
Thanks to FEMS membership, LOK-SČL acquires important information on developments in other EU countries and has their possible support.
LOK-SČL representatives attend regularly tripartite meetings on health care and many meetings at the Ministry of Health and the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
In 2010-2011, LOK-SČL organized the "Thank you, We're Leaving" Campaign in order to improve doctor´s working conditions, especially the salary evaluation and the compulsory continuing education of physicians.
The mass hospital doctors’ resignation was the main Campaign pressure. The event joined about 3,500 doctors from hospitals across the country. The campaign was prepared by a renowned PR agency Ewing.
LOK- SČL Bravery Prize winners
Bravery awards are presented by the LOK-SČL on the basis of the Bureau decision every year to doctors for a brave action in the past year.
The LOK - SČL bravery award Ceremony is annually held at the Representative Ball of Czech Physicians in the Žofín Palace.
At the first Representative Ball of Czech Physicians in 1996 the Prize was not awarded yet.
The first Prize was awarded in 1997 for the year 1996.
1. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 1996
The first Bravery Prize winner was in 1997 prof. MUDr. Pavel Pafko, DrSc. for his comment on the cost of President Havel's operation. He said that compared to repairing a presidential car, the price for the operation was low. This was the first such statement in the media, which was made by a prominent Czech physician and academic dignitary.
2. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 1997
MUDr. Petr Herman from Opava was the second awarded doctor for his bravery during the floods in Moravia, when he took his pregnant patient to the hospital using a boat.
In 1999 for 1998 the Prize was not awarded.
3. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 1999
The third Prize for bravery was given to MUDr. Rostislav Beneš from Uherský Brod who tried, despite considerable weather conditions, to reach together with the crew of the Emergency Medical Service ambulance vehicle a patient, whose life was in serious Danger. The award was at the Annual Ball handed out by American actor Mandy Patinkin.
4. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2000
In 2001 the Prize was awarded to leaders of LOK Zlín MUDr. Marcela Henčlová and MUDr. Libor Richter for the brave stance in negotiation about salaries with the hospital director.
5. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2001
The LOK-SČL Bravery Prize Laureate for 2001 was the chief physician MUDr. Lukáš Svoboda from Hemodialysis Center in Na Homolce Hospital, who participated on a Czech expedition to the second highest peak of K2, where despite being ill and under difficult conditions he provided medical care to other mountaineers.
6. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2002
The LOK-SČL bureau has decided to award the Bravery Prize for 2002 to prof. MUDr. Bohumil Fišer, CSc., former Minister of Health of the Czech Republic, who bravely enforced health sector budget increase and defended his decision on hospital doctors and nurses salary rise in public.
7. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2003
For 2003 was a rescue services doctor awarded, who was attacked and beaten while treating a injured person. Despite this incident, he continued to work at the emergency service.
8. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2004
The LOK-SČL Prize for bravery for 2004 was special. Firstly it was not only the price for one particular brave act, but for the whole brave life and in addition, the prize was awarded “in memoriam”. The LOK-SČL management appreciated with this step an excellent doctor and a very brave woman, Mrs. doc. MUDr. Květa Kvapilíková, CSc., who died in October 2004 after a long illness.
In 2006 The Representative Ball of Czech Physicians was not held.
9. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2006
LOK-SČL bravery prize winner for 2006 was MUDr. Jan Vorel, surgeon from Český Krumlov. He was the only one who had the courage to file a criminal complaint in the matter of reimbursement of the wage difference between the overtime work and so called "waiting for work".
10. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2007
In 2007, MUDr. Lenka Doležalová was honored for her work to rescue The trauma Hospital in Brno and for her personal attitude in negotiating with Minister Julínek,
11. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2008
The prize for 2008 was received by MUDr. Jaroslav Žák from the hospital in Karlovy Vary, who, at the beginning of 2008, became one of the leaders of the protest against the tunneling of the Karlovy Vary hospital by his then management.
12. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2009
The Prize was awarded to MUDr. Alena Dernerová from Most for the courageous criticism of conditions in the Krajská zdravotní a.s. hospital in Usti region.
13. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2010
For the first time in history, three candidates were selected: MUDr. Šárka Drinková from Havlíčkův Brod, MUDr. Petr Igaz from Karlovy Vary and MUDr. Pavel Vávra from Nové město na Moravě. The prize was awarded for their personal bravery by being the face of the „Thank you, we're leaving" campaign.
14. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2011
An extraordinary act was the award of a foreign doctor. MUDr. Marián Kollár has been awarded for the leadership of the Slovak Trade Association of doctors in the fight for the better doctors’ position in Slovakia.
15. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2012
For courage he showed during his participation in three missions in Afghanistan in 2008, 2009 and 2011 Major MUDr. Jiří Lysák from Hradec Kralove was awarded.
16. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2013
MUDr. Saša Štembera from Most received award for open criticism of Krajská zdravotní a.s. hospital, for what he was dismissed from the hospital.
17. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2014
For his active participation in the "People in Need" mission during the bloody fighting at Majdan in Kiev, MUDr. Severyn Romaniv from Prague was awarded.
18. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2015
For the participation in „Doctors without Borders" humanitarian missions in Haiti and Afghanistan, MUDr. Tomáš Šebek from Prague was awarded.
19. LOK-SČL Bravery Prize 2016
For the year 2016 professor MUDr. Jan Žaloudík, CSc. from Brno was selected. LOK- SČL bureau appreciated the political courage of prof. Žaloudík when discussing the amendment to Act No. 95/2004 Coll. concerning Doctors Medical Education. As one of the few doctor – law makers, he has opposed the necessary but low-quality amendment to the Act which did not solve the biggest problems of educating of young colleagues and significantly contributed to the rejection of the amendment and to its return to the Chamber of Deputies.
In 2018 for 2017 the Prize was not awarded.