One of the most popular tourist destinations in Eastern Europe is the Czech Republic’s fairy tale capital city, Prague, where health travelers will also find most of the country’s best clinics. While the Czech Republic offers an array of surgeries and other general treatment, health travelers generally head to Prague for either cosmetic surgery or dental care.
Over the past decade, several privately funded clinics have opened that cater mostly to international patients from Western Europe and the UK. Staff and physicians speak English and provide care based on western-style models. Prague has also recently seen a great increase in Western-trained doctors opening private practices.
That said, the Czech Republic’s healthcare system is in transition. The Czech Republic enjoys long-standing healthcare oversight and stringent requirements for physicians and surgeons. Cosmetic surgery is strictly regulated by the government and by the Czech Medical Chamber.
For example, standards to become a plastic surgeon in the Czech Republic are rigorous, requiring a minimum of six years at an accredited university followed by a minimum of two years post graduate work under the supervision of a senior doctor, two years in general surgery and four years of plastic surgery theoretical and practical practice in a state-certified clinic for plastic surgery. Yet, in a country where many physicians in the public sector earn less money than office workers, health travelers must double their research to ensure quality of care.
The Czech Republic and Medical Travel
Patients who travel for medical care cite Prague as a favorite sightseeing destination. Many factor extra travel time into their trips, taking advantage of less invasive procedures and shorter recovery times to enjoy vacations, weekend getaways, or Prague’s endless sightseeing.
Fees for medical services vary widely. Quoted prices usually include all pre-operative tests, examinations, surgery, medications, overnight stays, post-operative treatments, and an extra $200 for a friend or partner to accompany the patient.
Health tourism packages often include bike tours through the wine country, mountain exploration, hiking, horseback tours, and art and heritage festivals.
For those concerned about antibiotic-resistant infections, the Czech Republic is reputed to have one of the lowest Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in Europe (meaning that unlike in the US, most staph infections in the Czech Re-public can still be treated effectively with certain antibiotics).
JCI accreditation is relatively new to the Czech Republic. Since 2010, JCI accreditation has been awarded to four hospitals and clinics.
Last updated on 4 January 2013