Czechs rate their healthcare system highly: Do you agree?

Positive perceptions of healthcare in the Czech Republic have grown significantly over the last decade.

William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass Published on (updated on 18.02.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The last two years have put the spotlight on healthcare systems around the world like never before. Fears that health services could be overwhelmed by Covid gave new urgency to the need to ensure that healthcare standards are up to scratch.

For most Czechs, the pandemic has confirmed positive perceptions of the nation's healthcare sector. That’s according to the results of a new poll by CVVM, which found that 71 percent of Czechs view health services positively.

This is a significant increase on the situation ten years ago, when only 54 percent of the country had a positive view of the health sector.

The rapid development and deployment of Covid vaccination along with the intense demands placed on health workers over recent years are likely to have played a role in these positive developments. Yet investments into healthcare over the past decade led to strong results compared to comparable Central and Eastern European countries even before the pandemic struck, according to an OECD report.

CVVM’s report meanwhile found that two-thirds of Czechs think public spending on healthcare should increase.

This is in stark contrast to plans presented in the new government's draft budget, which proposes cutting the Health Ministry’s budget by CZK 5.8 billion.

These proposed cuts led medical unions to go on strike last week. Representatives are furious at the government’s refusal to raise insurance payments for state-insured people as planned by the previous government, meaning less money for the healthcare sector. They also fear reported cuts for regional hygiene stations.

The pandemic revealed the importance of having a well-functioning healthcare system, but the government now appears to be putting cost savings first.

This is a concern in the context of warnings from Czech healthcare professionals that the country’s overall health is getting worse. Cardiologists warn that the Czech Republic is one of Europe’s worst countries for cardiovascular disease, as a result of missed health check-ups and a lack of preventive care.

“Patients are currently canceling up to 50 percent of preventive check-ups,” said Michal Vrablík, Chairman of the Czech Association of Preventive Cardiology. “This acute reduction isn’t the biggest problem though; it’s rather that patients will find it hard to return to prevention, which will undoubtedly have a negative effect in the future.”

The Czech healthcare system is emerging from the pandemic with credit; but there’s growing concern that it isn’t equipped to deal with the onslaught of check-ups and regular procedures which have been neglected over the past two years.

In this context, government budget cuts aren’t likely to help matters. The Czech healthcare sector enjoys largely positive public perceptions now; but it still has many more tough challenges to overcome.

Do you view Czech healthcare positively?

Yes 50 %
No 50 %
2 readers voted on this poll. Voting is closed

Do you think the Czech Republic should invest more money in healthcare?

Yes 100 %
No 0 %
2 readers voted on this poll. Voting is closed
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