ASK AN EXPERT: What preventative screenings are patients entitled to in Czechia?

World Cancer Day is Saturday; find out how you can stay one step ahead of illness with preventative screenings in Czechia. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.02.2023 09:05:00 (updated on 04.02.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Dr. Kateřina Šédová is an associate MD at Concierge Medicine as well as the founder of Loono, an organization of young medical students, doctors, and other professionals devoted to the prevention of oncological and cardiovascular diseases. The project recently released an app that sends users vital reminders about their health.

We asked Dr. Šédová to break down for us which preventative screenings are covered by insurance in the Czech Republic.

"There are three official screening programs in the Czech Republic [meaning screenings are covered under your insurance]: Cervical screenings (pap smear), colorectal screenings (colonoscopy), and breast cancer screening," she says.

All women after the age of 45, are entitled to breast cancer screening every two years, in special accredited screening centers. Šédová adds that your GP should give you the paperwork necessary to undergo these screenings. All women should undergo screening for cervical cancer once a year at their gynecologist’s office.

She also recommends a breast self-examination once a month after your period ends (for instructions from Loono see here).

For women Annual list of check ups in Czechia

  • YEARLY: Preventive gynecological exam
  • TWICE-YEARLY: Preventive exam with GP
  • YEARLY: Preventive dental check-up
  • BI-YEARLY: Mammogram (after 45)
  • EVERY 10 YEARS: Colonoscopy (after 50)
  • YEARLY: Preventive ophthalmology check-up (after 40)

All men and women should undergo a colonoscopy after the age of 50, then once again in ten years, in a special accredited screening center, by referral from their GP.

Undergoing a Fecal Occult Blood test (FOB) instead of a colonoscopy between the ages of 50-54 once a year and after 55 years of age every two years is also an option. However, it's not one Dr. Šédová recommends due to the test's questionable accuracy. 

For men, Dr. Šédová also recommends a testicle self-examination once a month (for instructions from Loono see here).

FOR MEN Annual list of check ups in Czechia

  • TWICE-YEARLY: Preventive exam with GP
  • YEARLY: Preventive dental check-up
  • EVERY 10 YEARS: Colonoscopy (after 50)
  • YEARLY: Urologist visit (after 50) upon doctor's recommendation
  • YEARLY: Preventive ophthalmology check-up (after 40)

Dr. Šédová says that more screenings are being added to what is currently covered by insurance. "Lung cancer screening is currently being piloted in the Czech Republic, and prostate screenings are due to be added to the list of preventative screenings covered by insurance in 2023," she says.

If you are a smoker between the ages of 55-57, you can take part in the lung cancer screening pilot. Ask your general practitioner to send you to a pulmonologist, who will examine you and eventually do a CT scan. 

In addition to the screenings highlighted above, she also recommends that both men and women undergo screening for sexually transmitted diseases if they are sexually active as well as an annual examination of birthmarks (melanoma screening) with a dermatologist.

One benefit of joining Concierge Medicine is that recommended screenings are organized for the patient directly in the clinic or in partner institutions. Their preventative approach to medicine and holistic well-being means that screenings for members exceed the minimum recommended protocols.

ABOUT THE EXPERT Kateřina graduated from the First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University in Prague and Harvard Medical School. In 2014, after her own cancer experience, she founded Loono a grassroots initiative providing clear, understandable, and positive information about self-care. Loono has trained 150,000 people at workshops and reached 2.5 million people via its free mobile app “Preventivka” which notifies users to schedule vital preventive screenings. For her efforts in the field of prevention, Kateřina was listed in the Forbes "30 under 30," and received EU Commission Health Award for Cancer Prevention Campaign.

This article was written in association with Concierge Medicine. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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