Czech Republic HiT (2015)
The Czech population has near-universal coverage, a broad range of benefits in their statutory health insurance system, and they also enjoy a high degree of financial protection. Some important health indicators are above EU averages or even among the best in the world (such as infant mortality). On the other hand, a range of health-care utilization rates, such as outpatient contacts and average length of stay in acute care hospitals, both of which are notably high, point to a substantial potential in the Czech Republic for efficiency gains and improved health outcomes. In addition, plentiful human resources, such as the relatively high number of physicians, show regional disparities, and the ageing profile of primary care physicians represents a potential human resources problem in the near future.
The Czech health system in its current form has faced constant financial problems since its establishment at the start of the 1990s, reflected in the solvency problems of the health insurance funds. This became acute again following the financial crisis as the health insurance funds depleted their reserves. Earlier attempts to increase the share of private expenditure in health-care services, e.g. by user fees, have been gradually reversed by later governments. This lack of political consensus poses an increasingly acute problem in the Czech health system as it results in several rather small changes each time a new political party comes into power, while the larger issues regarding sufficient resource mobilization are not addressed.
HiT health system reviews are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of a country's health system and of reform and policy initiatives in progress or under development. More up-to-date information on many countries can be found on our Health Systems and Policy Monitor (HSPM).