PRAGUE (AP) — Thousands of doctors across the Czech Republic have closed their clinics and offices for one day to demand higher pay and protest bureaucracy.

The physicians are protesting Wednesday they won't get a pay rise from health insurers for next year, unlike their colleagues in the country's hospitals.

Some doctors in outpatient clinics also joined the protest, and hundreds of pharmacies close for half an hour in a gesture of support.

Health Minister Miloslav Ludvik says he would not accept the demands to increase the payments by 3 percent, which the doctors say were promised.

The doctors also rejected a new system for electronic prescriptions.