The health needs of Czechs are met by a large array of hospitals, private clinics, and doctor’s offices. Hospitals are set up either by the Ministry of Health in the case of university hospitals, or by regions, municipalities, or private owners.
As in the whole of the EU, health insurance is mandatory for everyone in Czechia. The EU has a single insurance provider rule, so if a person is already insured in another member state, he or she cannot get another health insurance plan in the Czech Republic. Students under the age of 26 have their insurance paid for by the state.
Health care is very accessible in Czechia. In contrast with other countries, it is not usual to pay very high fees when using the services of private practitioners. There is no such thing as additional insurance, so patients who wish to receive any extra care must pay out of pocket. When visiting a doctor’s office or hospital, one always needs their insurance card. Foreigners from non-EU countries are also covered by Czech health insurance if they work for a company in Czechia.
There are several specialized medical facilities in Czechia, such as the Prague-based Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM), which specializes in cardiology and cardiac surgery. The Apolinář Maternity Hospital and the Institute for the Care of Mother and Child, two of the biggest maternity hospitals in the country, are also based in Prague.