Friday, 25 April 2014

Poll: Most Czechs against healthcare austerity measures

21 January 2013

Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) - A prevailing majority of Czechs oppose most austerity measures in the healthcare system, especially the lowering of the numbers of hospital beds, higher cash payments for prescribed medicines and the fee for visiting a doctor's surgery, according to a poll carried out by the CVVM agency.

The above measures were rejected by four-fifths of the respondents.

The Health Ministry and the VZP majority health insurer recently silently scrapped an ambitious but unpopular plan to markedly change the hospital network in the country that included closing down some clinics or at least their wards, which was to cut the running costs of the system, the economic daily Hospodarske noviny wrote earlier this week.

The only proposed healthcare step supported by most citizens (54 percent) is the plan to have only one public health insurance company.

Half of Czechs would like with increased health insurance payments for such risk groups of patients as smokers and alcoholics. Forty-three percent of people are against this step, however.

Three-fourths of people do not want the number of specialised medical facilities to be reduced.

More than three-fifths do not want health treatment to be divided in standards and extra care, which would not be covered from the compulsory health insurance.

A similar portion is also against payments for visits to a special doctor that are not recommended by a general practitioner.

Slightly more than half of the people do not like special a fee for a day in hospital, covering the costs of food and accommodation.

The poll was conducted on 1047 persons in December 2012. It concerned both measures introduced in the Czech healthcare system and the steps planned or considered.

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