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Health service


Receiving health care

photo:  (sxc.hu)

In the Czech Republic, both state and private medical facilities exist. Almost all facilities have concluded contracts for the provision and payment of health care with health insurers and provide health care to patients insured at the relevant health insurers without direct payment.


Organization of the Czech healthcare system

Healthcare services are provided by a system of:
  • outpatient care,
  • institutional care (inpatient),
  • company preventive care facilities,
  • urgent care facilities,
  • facilities for transporting the sick,
  • injured and women in childbirth,
  • spa care facilities,
  • facilities dealing with medications and health aids, and
  • dental products.

Outpatient care

When falling ill, a patient usually go to a primary care doctor who works in the patient's local area. These are general practitioners, pediatricians, dentists and gynecologists.

When choosing a doctor, it is necessary to bear in mind that it is only possible to register with a doctor who has a contract with your insurer for the provision of health care.

To be treated by a primary care doctor, it is necessary to register with that doctor. The doctor may refuse such registration only in cases where acceptance would mean such a workload for the doctor that he could not provide adequate care to the patient or other patients already in his care.

The doctor may not refuse treatment in cases of urgent care (injury, acute illness); however, after such treatment, the patient is transferred to his or her own doctor. If the patient is refused, he or she has the right to have the refusal in writing. If you have doubts about this, contact the healthcare department at your local authority with a request for investigation.

Patients can visit specialists in the Czech Republic without a recommendation from their primary care doctor.

Institutional care

If the character of the illness requires such, the general practitioner or outpatient specialist cnan recommend the patient for treatment in hospital or can directly arrange for admission.

Inpatient care is provided not only in hospitals, but also in a network of specialist medical institutions. These include institutions for chronic illnesses, mental hospitals, physiotherapeutic institutions, sanatoria and night sanatoria, institutions treating tuberculosis and respiratory illnesses and health resorts.

Accidents and emergency services

In cases of sudden illness or injury, health care can be secured outside of surgery hours or in the absence of an attendant doctor. This is provided depending on local conditions: In smaller areas, it is usually managed among doctors who mutually represent one another; in larger localities, there are organized emergency services in special surgeries or in hospital emergency rooms. Emergency services are also available for urgent dental conditions.

In the case of urgent serious illness, when the patient cannot get to a doctor alone and where transport to a medical facility and fast treatment is essential, ambulance services are dispatched to avoid a dangerous deterioration of health or threat to life. An ambulance can be requested by telephoning number 155. 

Company health services

Company preventive health care ensures, in cooperation with employers, prevention and protection of employees' health from work-related illnesses and other threats to health in the workplace, including prevention of injuries. Company preventive care facilities undertake specialist advisory activities on issues of protection and support for the health and social comfort of employees. They regularly carry out inspections of company workplaces to ascertain the effect of jobs and working conditions on the health of employees, and undertake preventive medical examinations of employees (initial, regular and concluding).

Pharmaceutical services

Pharmacy services provide patients with medications and health aids, either on the basis of a prescription or without.

Pharmacies provide medications to patients on the basis of prescriptions either without charge, if the medication is fully covered by the health insurer, or for a corresponding charge, if the insurer only covers part or none of the price.

Validity of medical prescriptions:
  • a prescription from emergency services is valid a day after the day of issue,
  • a prescription for antibiotics is valid three days,
  • all other prescriptions are valid one week.


Added: 08.12.2009

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