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Health care in the Czech Republic

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Wondering about health care in the Czech Republic? Find all that you need to know about the Czech health care system in this article.

Health care will probably be one of your major concerns on moving to the Czech Republic. Rest assured! The country has a modern and developed health care system comprising more than 25,000 hospitals, clinics as well as many private doctors. Access to health care is more or less easy, although there are less specialists compared to West European countries.

Health care system

The health care system therefore consists of public and private health care centers. Note that the Czech Republic has a higher number of doctors per inhabitants among all European Union countries.

Public hospitals are managed by the government are are equipped with sophisticated material. Most of them can accommodate up to 1,000 patients. You can find public hospitals in all major cities. District hospitals are found in densely populated areas.

The country also hosts smaller clinics that can accommodate up to 200 patients. However, these only provide basic health care services, along with emergency services. These also have a surgery department, as well as an in-patient department.

Doctors and conditions

On your arrival, you are required to designate a reference doctor, pediatrician, dentist and gynecologist. You are allowed to change your general practitioner or specialist every three months. Regardless of your choice, both you and your doctor must be registered with the same insurance.

You can also consult a specialist without a prior recommendation from your general practitioner. However, this implies that there will be no follow up between both parties. You may thus have to consult two different doctors for the same health issue.

Emergency

In smaller communities, doctors tend to stick together and to replace each other in case of emergency at patients house outside office hours or in the absence of the doctor. In bigger towns, specialized cabinets and hospitals have set up emergency services that also provide dental care.

Preventive health care

The Czech Republic is very vigilant regarding health issues. Therefore, companies make room for preventive care organizations. Their mission is to ensure the prevention of occupational accidents and the protection of employees against diseases and health hazards at their place of work via several measures: counseling, routine checks on the premises, preventive health consultations, among others.

Pharmacies and medication

You will find around 2,500 pharmacies across the country. Some drugs are only available upon prescription while others are available at the counter. Patients are immediately covered by their insurance. You can thus have to pay either part of the price, or whole, or even nothing, depending on the conditions.

The validity of prescriptions varies according to the type of medication and illness:

  • 24 hours for a prescription issued by the emergency service
  • 5 days for an antibiotics prescription
  • 3 days for an opiates prescription
  • 1 week for other prescriptions.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Health system in the Czech Republic Forum 
Ministry of Health www.mzcr.cz

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