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Special medical service for expats in St. Francis Hospital, Prague

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Press Release, Prague: Since the beginning of this year, St. Francis Hospital, in the city centre of Prague, has been operating a new special medical service for foreign expats and patients from abroad. The hospital is faced daily with a high demand of tourists who, due to holidays, move to the city center of Prague where the hospital is located. The hospital also provides extra services for foreigners and expats who travel to Prague to work and stay in the Czech Republic. These foreigners and expats, from time to time, need specialized medical care. Doctor Tomáš Šebek, MD, who regularly attends international health projects, leads a new inhouse consultation service and has a rich experience of this area. Sister Veritas of the Congregation of St. Charles Borromeo provides counseling along with him as an experienced clinical psychologist and former member of a team for former president Václav Havel. The project is supported by the district of Prague 1, the founder of St. Francis Hospital.

Typical patients for this new service of surgery are those with acute or chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract. St. Francis Hospital is specialized in this matter. A wide range of interventions are provided by miniinvasive techniques, such as laparoscopic gall bladder, hernia, or colorectal cancer surgeries. The surgical care builds specialized care gastroenterologists, who in addition to conventional endoscopic examination of the stomach and colon also carry a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Another bonus for foreign patients may be that the hospital is also the national reference center for Long’s method, which today is one of the most advanced surgical treatments of hemorrhoids. Similarly, the same pro-active approach of hospital service can be seen in a fracture clinic focused on acute injuries and chronic diseases of the musculoskeletal system, especially the upper and lower limbs. The new clinic for foreigners promises integration of care to simplify the orientation of a patient who doesn’t know the local health system.

“Regarding the location of our hospital in the city center and the fact that a large part of our clients are foreigners, it was quite logical to ensure these patients convenient access to health care in our hospital,” says Dr. Šebek, head of counseling sevice for foreigners. “I was living in Dublin, Ireland for one year as an expat, so I can imagine from my own experience how it is sometimes difficult to make sense of a different health care system, choose the right doctor and arrange even basic medical care. Though the Czech health care system provides comparable services to any other western country, the system and language barriers can be a serious limitation for foreigners. Each visit to the doctor is then unnecessarily stressful. We want to change it, at least for our patients.” Dr. Šebek is in charge of english-speaking patients in the hospital.

“I’m now back in New York and under the care of my doctor. I’m continuing my recuperation. With the help of some medications, including iron pills, my hemoglobin is well on its way to full recovery levels. The medical care you provided me is an excellent example of your dedication to your medical profession. I will never forget your kindness and sensitivity to my personal needs during a very difficult time in my life. My condition was potentially life-threatening and your caring and reassuring manners were invaluable in helping me cope with the situation both physically and psychologically,” wrote Mr. Frank Susino in a letter. Mr. Frank Susino was addmitted in the hospital for several days of specialized treatment in the intensive care unit.

The father of another patient, Ms. Beth Liebermann, wrote, “I am back home in Newport Beach, California. I wanted to shake hands with you prior to leaving Prague, but our schedules did not work out. The purpose of this email is to thank you for spending time with me to discuss Beth’s case. I also really appreciate your calming manner since I know very little Czech, and you made Beth and I feel confident in the surgery. Thank you again.” Ms. Beth Liebermann wrote, “I very much appreciate your calming manner as well as the time you took in explaining the surgery, as I had never had any kind of surgery before. It was definitely a scary time for me, and your reassurance was greatly appreciated. The nurses, at the time of my hospital stay, were also amazing. I appreciated their smiling faces and efforts to speak English very much.”

Knowing the context of other national health systems and having a good level of language skills, Dr. Šebek is supported by fluent Italian speaking Sister Veritas, of the Congregation of St. Charles Borromeo. In addition to her long-term experience in the Czech health care system, she is well known for having looked after former Czech president Václav Havel in the last period of his life. From her pure human approach, the worship of the fundamental values of christianity and humanism, and perfect language skills, patients may have promise of high standard service and literally family like approach towards them in hospital, which is the oldest in Central Europe.

Tomáš Šebek, MD. is a certified general surgeon consultant with twelve-years of experience in surgery and orthopedics. He specializes in laparoscopic surgery of the abdominal cavity and is dedicated to trauma surgery of the abdomen, legs and chest. Between 2011 and 2012 he served as Chief Physician of the National Spinal Unit at the Trauma centre of Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin. His other international experience includes annual missions with Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). He was in Haiti and Afghanistan several times as a major trauma specialist.

St. Francis Hospital – Nemocnice na Františku, Na Františku 123, Praha 1, Tomáš Šebek, MD [email protected], tel.: +420 222 801 343, +420 728 052 472

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