Health Ministry unveils plans for first-ever reform of psychiatric care

The Health Ministry also unveiled plans on Thursday for the first ever reform of psychiatric care. Deputy health minister Marek Ženíšek announced that the reform would primarily involve shifting care from large institutions to smaller centres closer to the patients and with the goal of achiving the European standard of psychiatric care. The Czech Republic, he said, could receive up to six billion crowns from the European Union for the reform. At present, 20 psychiatric facilities treat about 600,000 patients each year and have beds for 9,000. Ženíšek said that the options included reducing the number of beds, closing entire pavilions or entire facilities.