Leading Swiss health care experts are in Prague this weekend to share their experiences and help their Czech counterparts with the ailing health care system. Switzerland is known to have one of the best and most liberal health care systems in Europe. But, just like the Czech Republic, it is battling problems with the financing of hospitals and growing debt, the Swiss health minister Pascal Couchepin said at a conference on Saturday.
The newly appointed Czech health minister David Rath noted Czech health care reform is especially complicated - Switzerland has 600 billion crowns (some 24.5 billion US dollars) for a population of 7 million; the Czech Republic has a mere 200 billion crowns (some 8.2 billion US dollars) for its population of 10 million.
The Technical University in the North Bohemian town of Liberec says it may help reduce the spread of bird flu during a possible pandemic. Its technology that allows the mass commercial production of nanofibres (ultra-thin fibres that are just one billionth of a metre wide) can be used to make breathing masks. Filters made from nanofibres are extremely efficient because they have such tiny pores that no bacteria or viruses can pass through. The project is already in the testing stage.
The financial situation of Czech households has improved by over ten percent when compared to last year, according to a study made by the Italian UniCredito group. Households in seven Central and Eastern European countries were reviewed and results suggest that Czech households are currently the richest in the region. However, those of Poland and Slovakia are quickly catching up. The study looked into bank savings, stock and bond investments, and also life insurance policies but did not include the real value of property, i.e. cars, land, and real estate.
The Salvation Army celebrated fifteen years in the Czech Republic with a procession down Prague's Wenceslas Square on Saturday. The organisation, which is dedicated to helping the needy, was once active in Czechoslovakia before the Second World War but was banned when Nazi Germany occupied the country in 1939. Since it resumed its activities fifteen years ago, it has set up offices in nine Czech towns and cities.
Besides community centres, the Salvation Army has night dormitories, half-way houses, and runs two farms employing people serving alternative prison punishments.
The next few days will continue to have overcast skies with scattered showers. Day-time temperatures will drop gradually to reach a maximum of 10 degrees Celsius at the start of the new week.
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