Case of Healthcare in the Czech Republic
Corruption in Health Care – Analyzing Graft in Health Care System
What’s this case all about?
According to the official data provided by the Czech Statistical Office, the Czech Republic’s total health care spending in 2010 amounted to about 284 billion CZK, three quarters of which (ca. 214 billion CZK) expended by health insurers, about 42 billion CZK (15 percent) expended by households, and about 25 billion CZK (nine percent) being financed from public budgets, and the remaining three billion CZK coming from side sources (NGOs, private insurance policies and employers paying for the preventative health checks of employees). Consequently, government spending (i.e. national budget outlays, local budgets and health insurance costs) amounted to about 239 billion CZK, in 2010.
At the end of 20012, the Anticorruption Endowment (“NFPK” or “Endowment”) presented on its website (see below) a summary text exploring graft and waste of public funds in the Czech health care system and its privatization. This text is primarily intended for public consumption.
This document comes in four chapters, 22 subchapters, and 17 sub-subchapters. It describes various cases concerning the setting up of prices of medicaments and reimbursement of such, the IZIP electronic book project, the privatization and closing down of healthcare institutions, the lease and privatization of dialysis centres and laboratories, the privatization of organic tissue banks and the overpricing of purchases through health supply middlemen, and the outsourcing of accounting and legal services. We also provide a description of circumstances leading to the selling of health care establishments (typically hospitals) to private owners, efforts to privatize public health insurance, and the introduction of “controlled health care”. In conclusion we raise certain material misgivings concerning Marek Šnajdr, a long-time past chairman of the board of the Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna health insurance company, former First Deputy Health Minister, and former member of the lower house of the Czech Parliament. Also raised are the relevant circumstances that concern the former head of the Na Homolce Hospital, Vladimír Dbalý.
The present study clearly documents that the financing problems of the Czech healthcare system, leading to the present restriction of the provision of medical assistance (e.g. phasing out emergency hospital beds and cancelling hospital contracts) are very often the result of intentional and purposeful hijacking of public healthcare assets into private hands, and the privatization of health care facilities and lucrative healthcare services.