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OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Czech Republic 2014

Raising Standards

image of OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Czech Republic 2014

This book presents a comprehensive review of health care quality in the Czech Republic. It finds that over the past 20 years, the Czech Republic witnessed the unprecedented gains in quality of health care and life expectancy and successfully transferred its Semaschko system into the modern accessible health care system with private-public mix of providers. Nevertheless the health care system in the Czech Republic still has some way to go to achieve the outcomes of the best performing OECD members. While some of the gap might be caused by the one of the lowest levels of health care expenditures among OECD countries (7.2% GDP in 2011) there are possibilities to improve the outcomes without incurring much of the additional costs.

The Czech authorities should reach a consensus on the development of quality of care and data infrastructure and aim for sustainable long-term initiatives undisturbed by the political cycles in both of these areas. While the adverse events reporting and voluntary accreditation are the good steps towards the accountability of the providers, the government should do more in this area, undertake the effort to broaden the accreditation process and include outpatient care and link public health authorities to the quality agenda of inpatient care. In the area of data infrastructure more data should be gathered, the process of data gathering should be streamlined and administrative burden for the providers lowered primarily via the merging the data-collecting agencies. Finally, without the active participation of health insurance funds and proper reimbursement mechanisms in place the quality agenda will not be perceived as the priority.

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Diabetes care in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has in place a comprehensive care approach for diabetes, which covers primary prevention, screening and diagnosis, management and treatment, and response to complications, backed up by a national diabetes plan, and a range of clinical guidelines. The measures that the Czech Republic has been taking appear to have delivered some positive improvements, as complication rates for diabetes have dropped in some areas. Nonetheless, in the face of a rising prevalence of diabetes, strengthening of care approaches is needed, particularly around prevention. If implemented effectively, efforts to tackle risk factors for diabetes, notably obesity, can be cost-saving in the long run. To respond to this growing burden, and to provide higher quality care for current diabetes patients, some shifts in the organisation of care will be needed: GPs should take on a greater role in managing diabetes; well co-ordinated and patient-centred care should be prioritised; and patient education and self-management should be promoted.

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