Czechs visit the doctor more than anyone else in Central Europe
A visit to the doctor or dentist might strike fear into the heart of you or I, but not Czechs. According to a study released on Monday, Czechs visit their GPs on average some 15 times a year. This is almost twice as often as their neighbours in Germany and Austria. The study, which was commissioned by the Czech government, compared the Czech Republic to five other Central European nations, as well as Holland and Switzerland, who had already conducted such research. The findings? That the Czech Republic tops them all when it comes to waste and inefficiency in its healthcare system. Earlier today, Rosie Johnston talked to the study's author, Ondrej Matl, who said it wasn't all bad news:
"The second thing which I find quite interesting and important is that the Czech health sector is leading in terms of childcare. If you look at the statistics, the Czech Republic has one of the lowest rates of infant mortality, from 0-6 months, in the world. But compared to the very good care the Czech Republic offers children, we lag behind in our care for the elderly."
"Perhaps one of the possible reasons is that Czechs don't trust their doctors that much - this means that patients will visit one doctor, and then they'll visit a second, just to be sure that they have been given the right prescription. I think this is one of the reasons behind this figure."
And do you think that Czechs are a nation of hypochondriacs?
"I wouldn't say that, I don't think so. I don't believe that we are that much different from anyone else in terms of believing that we are ill when we are not."
What does your report suggest should be done to remedy this wasteful visiting of several doctors each time you fall ill?
Do you think that the Czech healthcare system is in crisis?
"I wouldn't use the word crisis. I think the Czech healthcare system has a cold, and it needs to be cured, as it is with any person who has a cold."