OECD recommends Czech health sector focus on effectivity

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recommends that the Czech health sector should focus on the effectivity of care due to the fact that the ageing of the population will inevitably lead to a rise in care expenses.

Photo: Filip Jandourek / Czech RadioPhoto: Filip Jandourek / Czech Radio Speaking at a press conference, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch, told journalists that his ministry has already started implementing some of the OECD recommendations that were made public in July. He says the report recommended that the Czech health care system be made financially sustainable.

According to OECD Czech Desk head Falilou Fall, one of the main challenges is the ageing population. He told the Czech News Agency that 45 percent of healthcare expenses are for seniors and that, if nothing is undertaken, this number could go up to as high as 75 percent.

Health Minister Vojtěch sees the securing of a sufficient amount of beds as well as the strengthening of communal and home care as priorities, with the latter potentially the key to securing long term management of patients with chronic illnesses.

The Czech News Agency further reports that the organisation has also suggested increasing the tax on alcohol and tobacco. Funding for improvements in the healthcare system could also be secured through increases in health insurance as well as through a greater commitment of budgetary resources, says Mr. Fall.

Hospital management and the differences in the quality and availability of care in individual state regions is another area where the OECD sees room for improvement.

The health minister says that the OECD has also recommended strengthening the role of health insurance companies in negotiations regarding care reimbursement or aim to cover these costs based on performance rather than through a flat rate.

The Czech Republic should strengthen the role that GP’s have in patient care, especially for those with chronic problems, improve financing for health faculties and focus more on prevention. According to the Mr. Vojtěch, the health ministry is currently either incorporating or preparing for the implementation of all of these OECD measures.

The OECD forecasts that by 2050 the amount of persons over the age of 65 will grow from 18 to 30 percent.