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Czechs not ready for population ageing, experts say

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Prague, Jan 12 (CTK) – The Czech Republic is unprepared for ageing of its society and does not have any system of long-term care for the elderly, representatives of the doctors’ association, the WHO office and association of small hospitals told journalists yesterday.
There is no comprehensive system of health and social services, thanks to which people could be self-sustaining and live at home until a high age, the representatives said.
The financing of existing care is insufficient, they added.
They called on the government to deal with the situation. They also proposed the introduction of nursing insurance.
Life in the Czech Republic is increasing. According to the latest statistical yearbook, men’s and women’s life expectancy is 76 and 82 years, respectively.
In the past 15 years, it rose by 4.2 years and 3.4 years for the respective sexes.
As a result, the number of the elderly is to keep rising. According to a demographic forecast, up to 217,000 men and 377,000 women over 80 may be in the Czech Republic by 2025.
By the mid-2050, the figures are to surge to 491,000 men and 689,600 women. Every ninth Czech may be over 80.
“It is urgent to pass a reform and ensure a system that will be adapted to the elderly so that the old population is self-sufficient as long as possible,” head of the WHO office in Prague Alena Steflova said.
She said the Czech system “was not very well set and the outcome is alarming.”
The system of long-term care includes health and social services.
Petr Fiala, deputy chairman of the Association of Bohemian and Moravian Hospitals, said the health and labour and social affairs ministries did not cooperate on creating a model.
If a new government comes to power, its ministers set up commissions to deal with the problem.
“They have not resolved anything in 20 years. For politicians, this is no priority,” Fiala said.
Fiala said financing was the biggest obstacle. Health insurance companies are reluctant to pay care in social services and the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry is reluctant to pay for medical treatment, he added.

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