The health authorities are struggling to contain a hepatitis epidemic in
Ustí nad Labem, north of Prague.
Doctors report 30 new cases in the last 6 days alone. Altogether 276 people have contracted the infectious disease in different parts of the city. Of the 30 new cases seventeen are children.
Vaccinations are underway in schools and the locals have been asked to take precautions when visiting crowded places, such as supermarkets and public transport. Doctors say it may take up to two months to contain the epidemic.
Over the past week Prague was the focus for discussions between experts and businessmen from Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia, about their experiences with the medicinal cannabis market. It’s a global market that’s growing fast and reckoned to be soon worth hundreds of billions of dollars. But the story in the Czech Republic and in many other places is of growing pains and the early expectations not being realised.
The average age of Czech doctors has been increasing, the head of the Czech
Institute of Health Information and Statistics Ladislav Dušek said at a
meeting of the Czech Medical Chamber on Saturday. Concerns about the
growing age of Czech doctors were raised by a number of other speakers at
According to Mr Dušek, medical schools need to increase the number of graduates by 20 percent in order to replace the soon to be retired specialists. If nothing changes, around one fifth of Czech doctors will be older than 65 by the year 2025, he said.
A hepatitis A epidemic has continued to spread in the region of Ústí,
with 30 new cases registered. The epidemic led towns in the region to take
special hygienic measures, for example, at a voting booth at an elementary
school in the recent elections where disinfectant gel and napkins were
In all, 237 people in the region have contracted the disease since August. Ground zero for the epidemic was originally in socially-excluded areas, a local epidemiologist confirmed.
Pharmacists are demanding changes in the system of financing according to
which they are paid. The head of the Association of Pharmacists Lubomír
Chudoba says that the Czech Republic is one of the few remaining countries
in the EU where the income of a pharmacy depends on how expensive medicines
it sells. He points out that this in unfair to both pharmacists and
Pharmacists are demanding fixed supplementary charges for medicines, a change in financing which would reflect the services provided rather than the cost of medicines sold and set rules governing the establishment of new pharmacies.
GPs, outpatient specialists and dentists around the country held a symbolic nationwide protest on Tuesday against inadequate financing and excessive bureaucracy that is driving many of them out of business. They warned that the symbolic protest would be followed by a one day strike if the government fails to pay heed.
The association of Czech GPs wants its members to close their surgeries on
Wednesday next week in protest at what it regards as insufficient funding
and excessive bureaucracy. The call was made by the head of the doctors’
organisation, Petr Šonka, at one of a number of demonstrations held around
the country on Tuesday.
Mr. Šonka said his association’s members were prepared to close their doors to the public repeatedly if their demands were not met.
However, the Ministry of Health says there is no money available to boost funding for GPs next year. A representative said its priority was to support Czech hospitals in a bid to stop them losing staff.
Karina Movsesjan, a high school student from the Czech Republic, received one of the first three prizes in the EU Contest for Young Scientists established by the European Commission. Karina won the award for her research project “The role of RAD51 mutations in cancer development” for which she has already picked up prizes in the Czech Republic and the United States.
The Czech Republic has been judged the world’s unhealthiest country by
Clinic Compare, a UK clinic comparison website. It collated information
from the World Health Organization, the CIA World Factbook and the World
Lung Association and ranked each state according to three factors: alcohol
consumption, tobacco consumption and obesity levels.
The study’s authors said residents of the Czech Republic consumed an average of 13.7 litres of pure alcohol annually and ranked 11th highest in per capita cigarettes smoked a year. Russia came second in the survey, followed by Slovenia, Belarus and Slovakia.
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