New statistics map the Czech Republic's ongoing doctor shortage

The increasing average age of doctors in Czechia, paired with an underfunded system, has led to a long-term shortage of doctors in the country.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 12.01.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 11.01.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Amid a shortage of doctors in Czechia – a problem that became particularly visible in 2022 – state insurance company VZP has published a map showing which areas are worst affected. It reveals that, nationwide, the country lacks a total of 52 adult general practitioners in various parts of the country.

The worst-affected area is the Ústí nad Labem region, in which there are 11 fewer doctors than necessary to cope with demand. The Vysočina region has the second-largest shortage, missing eight doctors, while Moravia-Silesia misses six. One town in Karlovy Vary, a region that has also been badly affected by the shortage, has resorted to cooperating with practitioners in the German border town of Selb. 

Prague, South Bohemia, and Zlín are the least-affected areas, although this does not mean that it is easy to make a doctor's appointment in these regions. The Prague 12 district recently reported that doctors at one clinic were unable to accept new patients owing to a lack of personnel.

Red-shaded areas indicate towns or cities with a shortage of doctors. Source: VZP
Red-shaded areas indicate towns or cities with a shortage of doctors. Source: VZP


  • Around 80 percent of Czech hospitals struggle with a doctor shortage.
  • As per 2020 data, specialists in Czechia are paid the eighth-lowest salary (in euros) out of all 27 EU countries.
  • Since 2018, there are 100 fewer general practitioner positions for children and adolescents in the Czech Republic.
  • About one-third of regions in Czechia are dealing with a shortage of doctors in hospitals and clinics.
  • According to a 2020 study, Czechia had the sixth-lowest number of general practitioners per 100,000 population in the whole EU.

    Sources:, European Commission, Euronews, Seznam Zprávy

Why is there a shortage?

The current aging of doctors plays a role in the present situation. The average age of a Czech practitioner is over 55 years old; an increase of about five years since 2006. More than 40 percent of doctors are over 60 years old, and up to one-third of them will retire by 2030, Vojtěch Mucha, vice-chairman of the Association of Young Practitioners, told Dení

Czech doctors' low payment relative to other (Western) European countries is also a contributing factor. Statistics show that every fifth doctor leaves the Czech Republic immediately after graduation and heads abroad. 

Pediatric care faces the same problem: By 2027, “hundreds of pediatricians across the Czech Republic will retire,” writes Their average age is 60.

“We are registering an increase in the share of doctors of retirement age in the total capacity coverage. In other words, the number of young doctors does not fully replace those who have decided to end their practice and retire,” VZP spokesperson Viktorie Plívová told Seznam Zprávy.

Increased funding ahead

In 2022, VZP announced that it would offer up to CZK 800,000 for each new doctor's office that is established. It has set aside CZK 1.3 billion to pay existing doctors; an 18-percent increase from 2021. It will also offer up to CZK 1,300 for each newly registered patient. In the past, the city of Přerov offered a subsidy of CZK 200,000 for new doctors.

"The bonus for opening a new office is an incentive that is a step in the right direction," said Association of General Practitioners (SVL) chairman Petr Šonka in

Faced with an aging population and a long-term trend of declining doctors, the government, doctors, and civilians alike will hope that increased funding will ameliorate the presently worrying situation.


Searching for an English-speaking doctor in Czechia? Use this resource for an overview. Alternatively, the search function of PVZP (the private arm of VZP) allows you to specify your search to find English-speaking doctors.

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