• Pension reform
  • Health reform
  • Social reform
  • Tax reform
  • Anti-corruption measures

Health reform

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Immediate changes must be made if we want a functional and effective health system free of corruption and clientelism. If the government did not launch a reform of the health service, those most in need and most vulnerable will continue to pay for the current deficiencies in the system.

Today’s health system is burdened primarily by a continuously deepening deficit in the health insurance system, which in a very short period of time could result in a worsening of the availability and quality of health care. One of the possible and very simple solutions would be to increase the contributions towards health insurance. However, the government of Petr Nečas does not want to go down this path and has therefore chosen to improve the efficiency of expenditure.

It is necessary to set the rules for the provision of health care in such a way that nobody is cheated and everybody knows what entitlements he has in the health service. This is another reason why the government has implemented a split into so-called standard and above-standard, without which the system will continue to be burdened with corruption and clientelism and the most needy will continue to have difficulty getting the best care. Patients need not be afraid at all that the level of their care will worsen. On the contrary, there has been a strengthening of their rights enshrined in law.

The main changes

  • Patients will have improved rights to information. Compared to the situation before, they are entitled to all the information about their state of health and the health services provided to them.
  • Patients may stipulate the circumstances under which they wish to be treated. The institute of patient wishes expressed in advance will be introduced. This will provide relief not only for health service personnel, but also the patients themselves and their relatives. This will remain valid for 5 years and may be changed at any time.
  • A physician selection option will be introduced. The possibility to freely choose a healthcare provider will become one of the basic rights of the patient. People will be able to choose, for example, the hospital at which they will be treated.
  • Access to the patients’ health documentation will be facilitated. Insurers will be under obligation to send information about the amounts that they have paid for their care to all their clients once a year.
  • Patients’ right to detailed information about treatment performed will be established. The physician must acquaint them with the treatment, its results and consequences. Exceptions to this rule are urgent treatment when life is endangered and cases when the patient expressly states that he does not want to be informed.
  • Patients will gain the right to the presence of people they know. They can also choose other persons who will be present during the provision of medical services.
  • Patients can designate persons who will have the right to information about their state of health. A designated person will also have the right to inspect the patient’s documentation.
  • The payment per item on prescriptions will be cancelled. Now patients will pay a single price of CZK 30 for a prescription. This means that patients will save money and pharmacies will have less administrative work.
  • A patient will pay regulatory fee of CZK 100 per day in hospital.
  • Insurers will not provide compensation for medicines that can be purchased without a prescription. Patients themselves will have to pay for medicines that can also be purchased without a prescription. This will create space for increased payments for expensive medicines stipulated for specialised treatment of the seriously ill.
  • Pneumococcal vaccinations for children will be reimbursed. The health insurer will pay for pneumococcal vaccinations for children up to seven months of age.
  • Cervical cancer vaccines for girls will be reimbursed. Girls aged between thirteen and fourteen will no longer have to pay for vaccination against the papillomavirus which causes, among other things, cervical cancer. This will be covered by the health insurer.
  • All expenditure by health service providers will be made accessible. People will be able to freely search for this information in the National Register of Providers, which is available at the website of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.
  • The rights and obligations of healthcare providers will be stipulated, including sanctions for their breach. Patient complaints will be settled using a unified procedure, while providers, insurers and regions will have to address complaints in a demonstrable way or face sanctions.
  • In the case of serious procedures, patients may consult with another physician. If a patient is to undergo a serious medical procedure, he may consult it and his diagnosis with another physician and this will be covered by the insurer.
  • The right of a patient to healthcare will be defined and reimbursement standards created. Thanks to this, patients will have an overview of what care they are entitled to, and potentially what care they may legally pay extra for. In addition to additional funds entering the system, this measure will prevent corruption and clientelism.
  • The arrival time for ambulances will not exceed twenty minutes in 95 per cent of cases. The regions involved have therefore prepared the so-called plan to cover the regions with dispatch centres, which should ensure the availability of medical rescue services.
  • Dozens of new rescue stations will be established. Legislation envisages the construction of forty new medical rescue service stations.
  • Cooperation between rescue services and hospitals will be made more effective. Legislation stipulates new rules for such communication.
  • It will be almost impossible for hospitals to refuse a patient. It will only be possible to refuse to accept a patient in exceptional cases and never when the life of the patient is in immediate danger.
  • The treatment of mentally ill patients at home will begin to be given precedence. There will be more treatment of people with mental problems using out-patient and community care.
  • Health service personnel will be subject to unified conditions. Unified conditions are stipulated for the granting of authorisation to provide medical services, and this also for non-state medical facilities.
  • Rules have been set for the provision of some new special types of medical services. These include for example sterilisation, castration, assisted reproduction, sex changes for transsexuals or compulsory treatment and assessment medicine.
  • Insurers will pay for more artificial insemination cycles. A health insurer will now pay for a total of four attempts at artificial insemination instead of the current three.
  • The rules for anonymous donations of germ cells will be changed. Women aged between 18 and 35 will be able to donate eggs. Men can be sperm donors if aged between 18 and 40.
  • Women can undergo voluntary sterilisation from 21 years of age. Sterilisation for medical reasons (for example in the event of oncological disease) can now be performed with written agreement from 18 years of age. Decisions on the sterilisation of minors will be made by an expert commission with the agreement of the legal representatives.
  • Castration may be performed from 25 years of age, and this for therapeutic reasons. Therapeutic castration may be stipulated for sexual deviants and men who have committed a violent sex crime in the past and there is a risk that they will do so again.

Reform targets

  1. better patient information and the right to accept or refuse treatment
  2. the right to detailed information about procedures performed, their consequences and after-effects
  3. greater certainty for patients about the correctness of their diagnosis or the treatment provided, and prevention of errors
  4. a more effective patient complaints system
  5. choice of healthcare facility
  6. the option for patients to pay extra for premium treatment
  7. the obligation for health insurers to ensure local and timely access to medical treatment
  8. the right for patients to have close or chosen persons present during the provision of healthcare services
  9. the regulatory charge for one day's hospitalisation will be 100 CZK
  10. cancellation of the charge per item on prescriptions; the charge will be 30 CZK for the whole prescription
  11. ambulance response times will not exceed 20 minutes in 95 % of cases

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