All members of the Czech Society of Cardiology are obliged to follow the laws of the Czech Republic and professional code No. 10 – Czech Medical Chamber Code of Ethics.
Conflict of interest means such behaviour or labour or contract-based relationship of a CSC member that undermines the confidence in their impartiality or through which a CSC member can abuse or has abused their position to obtain unauthorized benefit for themselves or another person or legal entity.
In the case of doctors/physicians, this most often concerns contract-based or labour relations with entities from the pharmaceutical industry, suppliers and producers of medical and diagnostic technologies. Under certain circumstances, the conflict of interest may arise in consequence of a contract-based or labour relationship with another medical, research, charity or educational institution, including health insurance companies and congress agencies.
All CSC members are required to identify and declare potential conflicts of interest resulting from their cooperation with other entities (see above).
· All CSC Committee members and the chairpersons of the working groups and associations are obliged to provide the CSC Chairperson with a written overview of their conflicts of interest; this shall be done once a year (before January 31). This document will be archived by the CSC Secretariat in the event of a dispute concerning the impartiality of the CSC Committee member in relation to other entities; this document is not publicly accessible.
· The potential conflicts of interest are declared with a simple list of the entities and activities that the member conducted with another organization or that the member had a contract for with another organization in the past year (e.g. the name of the company – lecturing, consulting, grant support, reimbursement of travel expenses, etc.). The declaration of conflicts of interest does not include the amounts of any financial transactions following from the activities.
· At all events organized by the CSC, the declaration of potential conflicts of interest shall be clearly expressed at the beginning of each public presentation, in the form of a slide which comes immediately after the title of the presentation. (The slide must be screened for a period sufficiently long for the audience to read.) Always only the conflict of interest related to the topic is presented.
· At all events organized by the CSC, in which the system of electronic entering of presentation abstracts in the system is used, each member is responsible for correct and complete filling in of the field related to the conflict of interest.
· The conflict of interest shall be expressed in writing, in the case of any expert opinions, assessments, or recommendations (including ESC recommendations that the CSC takes over).
· Additionally, the authors publishing in all printed materials and publications of the CSC, as well as Cor et Vasa journal are obliged to declare a potential conflict of interest related to the topic.
Other provisions of the code of ethics apply specifically to all members of the Czech Society of Cardiology Committee as well as chairpersons of committees of CSC working groups and associations:
1) CSC members can hold the positions of CSC Committee members and CSC association and working group committee chairpersons only under the following conditions:
· they are not regular employees of executive state authorities that control the health care sector as such and its financing (the exception is work for the grant agencies established by the state),
· they are not regular employees or shareholders of health insurance companies that use the funds of public health insurance,
· they are not regular employees, owners or shareholders of pharmaceutical companies, whose products are covered by public health care funds (does not relate to the working group of technical professions),
· they are not regular employees, owners or shareholders of companies that produce or distribute products covered by the public health care funds or products covered by the health care revenues (medical material, therapeutic and diagnostic equipment, etc.) (does not relate to the working group of technical professions).
Before accepting a position on a CSC committee, its new and existing members shall issue a statutory declaration that they meet these conditions.
If in the course of a committee member position holding a change occurs regarding B1, the member shall declare so and resign from the position.
2) The CSC members in the committees follow these principles when making decisions:
· decision-making related to the allocation of financial resources from the public health care fund is governed by the principle of equal and equitable patients' and health care providers' access to them,
· when assessing requests for expert opinions from state institutions (State Institute for Drug Control, ministries) and health insurance companies, they are governed by their expertise and make decisions after their professional impartial consideration,
· in the case of an arisen or significant potential conflict of interest, they do not participate in the assessment of requests for expert opinions (including the vote on them),
· in the case of an insignificant potential conflict of interest, they clearly declare it in all of their expert opinions and recommendations.
Public appearances of the CSC Committee members and the chairpersons of working groups and associations shall not harm the society’s reputation under any circumstances.
1. Professional events organized directly by or under the auspices of the CSC (possibly under the auspices of its working groups and associations) shall respect the following rules:
2. The event shall not take place in an environment that could result in any doubt that the primary objective is the professional scientific program. The organizers shall avoid attractive tourist sites in the high season and a program that would favour leisure activities. Participants' accommodation covered by the CSC funds shall not be unreasonable.
3. Event sponsors shall be publicly declared and listed in the electronic or printed program.
4. All sponsored presentations (regardless of whether the organisers or directly the speakers are sponsored) shall be declared, and the fact that it is a sponsored presentation shall be indicated in the event program.
5. During the events organized by the CSC and its working groups or associations it is unacceptable that any products which are in conflict with the primary objective of the CSC or which could harm its reputation (e.g. tobacco, alcohol, unverified supplements and remedies) are promoted.
6. Smoking is prohibited in all areas designed for an event organized by and under the auspices of the CSC.
7. Events of the working groups and associations organized by independent agencies can bear the CSC logo or name only after consultation with the CSC Committee and with their agreement. A condition for the auspices is a written bilateral agreement between the CSC and the organizing agency, in which the agency shall undertake to respect the CSC code of ethics in writing.
8. The chairperson of the organizational and program committees of the given event is responsible for respecting the principles stipulated in D) of the CSC code of ethics. Any violation of the rules shall be settled using provision E).
1. The sanctions following from the violation of the code of ethics of the Czech Medical Chamber (CMC) and the CSC are to be decided on in a closed session. The decisions are accepted by a simple majority of votes of those present. The vote is secret. In the event of a draw, the proposed decision is considered accepted.
2. In the case of violation of the code of ethics of the CMC or the CSC, the CSC members are obliged to notify the society Committee. The CSC Committee may launch the procedure to expel the CSC member in question, even without a proposal, if they find out facts that suggest that the CSC member might have violated the code of ethics of the CMC or the CSC. Offenses against these provisions shall be discussed by the CSC Committee in a closed session. In the event of serious infringement of the code of ethics of the CMC or the CSC, the CSC Committee may decide to expel the member from the CSC; in the case of the CMC code of ethics violation, the Committee is obliged to notify a competent authority of the CMC. The members whose expulsion from the CSC is proposed have the right to get to know the expulsion proposal before the Committee meeting, ask for explanation and submit everything at their benefit, at least 15 days before the Committee meeting that is planned to make decision about the expulsion.
3. The decision on the expulsion from the CSC shall be delivered to the expelled member from the Committee by post or email. Within 15 days from the decision delivery, the expelled member may propose that the decision on expulsion is reviewed by the CSC Supervisory Commission. The CSC Supervisory Commission shall review the expulsion decision not later than 90 days after the delivery of the expulsion decision review proposal. The Supervisory Commission may cancel or confirm the decision on expulsion. The Supervisory Commission shall inform the CSC member who has filed the proposal about their decision in writing - by post or email. In the event that the Supervisory Commission cancels the expulsion decision, the Committee shall make a decision about the proposal for a CSC member expulsion again; the provisions related to the procedures before the CSC Committee shall apply by analogy.
4. In the case of intentional concealment or misrepresentation of facts that constitute a reason for a member of CSC Committee or a chairperson of a working group or an association not to hold their position, the CSC Committee has the right to remove the member from office or expel from the CSC in a closed extraordinary session.
5. In the case of non-compliance with the mandatory declaration of conflict of interest in public presentations at events organized by the CSC, the CSC has the right to refuse the author the opportunity to give a presentation, either in the context of the specific event, or permanently. The same applies to cases of any belittling of the significance of the conflict of interest declaration. The chairperson of the organizational or the program committee of the event can make the decision about the presentation cancelation as a result of non-compliance with the principle of the conflict of interest declaration. The CSC Committee can decide on the permanent ban, based on the principles stipulated in C1.
1. The provisions related to conflict of interest shall enter into force on the adoption of this Code of Ethics by the CSC Committee, i.e. on October 20, 2015.
2. The provisions of the code of ethics related to the committee members and chairpersons of working groups or associations stipulated in B1 shall enter into force in the election period of the Committee, working group or association following the adoption of this code.
3. The provisions of the code of ethics related to the organization of CSC events and events held under its auspices or the auspices of its working groups and associations stipulated in D) shall enter into force on the day of adoption of this code by the CSC Committee, i.e. on October 20, 2015.
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