Leaders of the Czech coalition government have approved the basic outlines of the planned health care reform. The first phase of the reform, which should be introduced in January 2012, should increase patients’ fees and curb the system administrative costs. At their meeting on Wednesday, the officials also agreed that the reform’s key principle – a new bill determining standard care covered by insurance and “above-standard” care patients will pay for themselves – would be sent to Parliament in mid-June. But a leading Czech expert in medicinal law,
Agriculture Minister Ivan Fuksa has assured the public that intensified
random checks of market vegetables in connection with the Spanish cucumber
scare would continue. Speaking on Czech public television the minister
that at the moment it was not yet clear if the contamination of the
had occurred in Spain, where the vegetables in question were farmed, or at
the end of the distributor, a German company. Mr. Fuksa said that should
someone have tampered with the vegetables, this could be labeled an act of
After it emerged on Sunday that over 200 potentially infected Spanish cucumbers were imported to the Czech Republic, of which 120 were sold on the market, Czech authorities ordered intensified random checks. An outbreak of bacterial infections believed to be caused by E. coli bacteria in contaminated cucumbers and other vegetables have killed 14 in Germany; further outbreaks also occurred in the UK, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.
On Tuesday, news of three possible cases of a bacterial infection linked to contaminated cucumbers emerged in the Czech Republic. A Czech man who returned home from a business trip to Germany may have contracted the life-threatening bacterial infection that has lead to 14 deaths in Germany. Another woman who may have caught the infectious disease was hospitalized in Hradec Králové on Tuesday. An American tourist who travelled through Germany has also been hospitalized in Prague on suspicion of having contracted the bacterial infection. The National Reference Laboratory is currently examining samples; test results will confirm whether the Czech man has indeed contracted the mutated E.coli virus.
Health Minister Leoš Heger presented the first part of a health care
system reform to the public on Tuesday. He said that a projected deficit
10.6 billion Czech crowns in his ministry’s 2012 budget could be
by several changes to the current health care system. By no longer
dental fillings and medication that costs 50 crowns or less, the state
health insurance company VZP could cut its expenses.
Mr. Heger is currently finalizing the details of the reform, which was the subject of intense debate in Parliament earlier this month. He is also currently preparing a unified legislation that would be binding for all health care insurance companies, and will present three additional proposals to Parliament by June 8. Some details, such as which services will be covered by the insurer and which will have to be paid for by the patient, are still unclear. An increase in patient fees for hospitalization was approved by Parliament in early May and is currently being discussed by the parliamentary committees.
The Czech Food Inspection authority has ordered intensified random checks
on all market vegetables in connection with the Spanish cucumber scare. It
emerged on Sunday that over 200 potentially infected Spanish cucumbers
imported to the Czech Republic, of which 120 were sold on the market. The
vegetables came from Germany on Tuesday and were distributed to over a
dozen retailers in different parts of the country; the same German dealer
also supplied cucumbers to Austria, Luxembourg and Hungary.
Potentially infected Spanish cucumbers are believed to be behind an outbreak of E.coli bacterial infections in Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. At least ten people have died of the infection in Germany, another 30 are in reported to be in serious condition.
The country’s chief hygiene officer Michal Vit has told Czechs there is no reason for concern if they observe standard precautions when preparing food. He stressed that all fruits and vegetables should be properly washed and where possible peeled in order to prevent bacterial infection. Slicing boards and knives should also be properly washed before coming into contact with other food. Mr. Vit asked people to check out the list of stores which had the potentially infected cucumbers on sale and dispose of any suspect produce they may still have.
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority on Monday ordered a nation-wide inspection of fresh vegetables. The decision comes after more than a hundred Spanish cucumbers possibly contaminated with a deadly mutated E. coli bacterium went on sale in several health food outlets in the country. Czech authorities are implementing the checks after vegetables with the infectious bacteria killed ten consumers in neighboring Germany.
Some 120 Spanish cucumbers possibly contaminated with the mutated E.coli
bacteria have been sold on the Czech market, a spokesman for the
country’s food inspection authority said on Sunday. The vegetables came
from Germany on Tuesday and were distributed among retailers the
authorities are now trying to identify ; the same German dealer also
supplied cucumbers to Austria, Luxembourg and Hungary, the spokesman said.
Another shipment that arrived in the on Thursday has not yet entered
Spanish cucumbers and other produce are believed to have caused an outbreak of the E.coli bacteria in Germany, Denmark and other countries. In Germany, ten people have died of the infection and hundreds of others fell ill.
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority began inspections on Friday of vegetables imported from Spain in response to the outbreak of the E.coli bacteria. Eight people have died in Germany of the infection which has spread to several other countries. A spokesman for the Czech food and drink watchdog said inspections will go on for at least a week; first results should be known by Monday. Meanwhile, a number of retailers, including Tesco and Kaufland, have pulled Spanish cucumbers, tomatoes and other produce off their shelves.
According to the results of a survey focussing on satisfaction with health care provided, Czechs are most satisfied with the dental care they receive and least satisfied with the standard of care in hospitals. The survey conducted by EHIS indicates that 88 percent of Czechs are happy with the care provided by their dentist, and 85 percent are satisfied with their GP, but only 65 percent of respondents could say the same of care provided in Czech hospitals.
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