Prague to open a dedicated dental emergency center from September

The new unit, which will also operate a normal appointment service during the day, aims to relieve pressure on the capital's network of dentists.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 13.06.2023 12:00:00 (updated on 13.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague City Hall has announced that a new dental emergency room will open in Prague 1’s Františtek Hospital to help deal with the high demand for dental services in the capital. The new unit – due to open in early September – will also operate a normal, non-emergency service.

The new facility is intended to relieve pressure on a separate center in Prague’s Spálená Street, which opened an emergency room for both children and adults last year. The past closure of Motol Hospital’s dental emergency unit for children led to more people coming to the Spálená unit.

Helping those in need

Prague Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs Alexandra Udženija said this week that the soon-to-open unit at Františtek Hospital will provide normal dental services during the day – mainly to low-income, socially disadvantaged, and uninsured citizens.

Prague City Council has approved a CZK 3.37 million subsidy for the equipping and operating of the center. Udženija also confirmed that citizens from Central Bohemia will be able to use the new Františtek unit.

Additionally, Prague City Council is negotiating with the Thomayer University Hospital on the opening of a new children’s emergency dental unit. A concrete proposal will be made in September.

Areas shaded in red have a shortage of dentists (Source: VZP)
Areas shaded in red have a shortage of dentists (Source: VZP)

A worrying lack of dentists

Prague is suffering from a shortage of dentists, which is indicative of the situation across the Czech Republic. A report from the Czech Dental Chamber released in May found that one in five people in the country are not registered with a dentist.

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Data from the World Health Organization shows that in 2019 Czechia had 7.3 dentists per 10,000 population – lower than the EU average of 7.7. The influx of Ukrainian refugees in Czechia and resultant increase in population has put further strain on the situation.

One case study from November 2022 illustrates the country’s dental problem: when a dentist announced he was accepting new patients in a South Moravian town, some 1,000 people queued – many overnight – for a chance to be registered.

Another cause of the problem is that many dentists opt not to have contracts with health insurance companies (and therefore take patients privately) because according to them the financial compensation from health insurance companies is not enough. VZP announced plans last year to help with this matter via greater financial investment and incentivization

The opening of the new center will bring relief and help to the thousands of people in the capital and Central Bohemia with dental issues, and will at least partially relieve the burden on the capital’s public dental system. 

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