The standards of healthcare in the Czech Republic are very high. However, the number of specialists is rather limited compared to much of Western Europe. The staff of hospitals and doctor’s surgeries is highly professional and medical equipment is up to date. In Prague medical standards are higher than in the rest of the country.
There are more than 25,000 healthcare providers in the Czech Republic. The country has the highest number of doctors per inhabitant of the new EU member states. That includes general practitioners as well as specialists.
Where to go?
When you get ill your first point of contact is a primary care doctor in your local area. You can chose between general practitioners, pediatricians, dentists and gynecologists as your primary care physician and you are allowed to change doctor every three months. If you are insured through the Czech public healthcare system and want to register with your primary care physician, you have to keep in mind that he has to have a contract with your insurer. If not, you will have to choose a different physician.
You can visit a specialist without a referral from your primary care doctor. However, this has a downside in the Czech Republic: Your primary care physician hardly ever gets information from other doctors you visit. Therefore, examinations are often done twice.
Many doctors have their own medical equipment, such as X-ray units. Because these machines are very expensive, many physicians will use them whenever possible to spread costs, even if their usage might not be necessary.
If your illness requires institutional treatment, your primary care physician can either recommend you for admission to a hospital or he can organize it directly himself. Inpatient care is not only provided by hospitals but also by other institutions.