Prague, Jan 24 (CTK) – A large majority of Czechs continue to oppose having to pay a fee for prescriptions and doctor visits as well as the lower number of hospital beds and specialised healthcare facilities, according to a poll conducted by the CVVM polling institute in last December and released today.
On the other hand, the poll shows a gradual increase in the public’s acceptance of extra payments for food and beds in hospitals as well as the differentiation of healthcare into standard and paid additional care.
“Overall, people’s view of the proposed changes is mostly negative, except for the question of introducing a single public health insurance provider, where the opinions are balanced,” the CVVM said.
Another balanced issue is the proposed increase in healthcare costs for risk-prone groups of citizens like smokers, alcoholics and overweight people, with 43 percent of respondents saying they support the measure and 51 saying they do not.
The proposed closing of some wards in regional hospitals was met with approval from only 15 percent of respondents.
Among the other listed issues, 83 percent of respondents oppose having to pay a fee for a visit to the doctor, 65 percent oppose having to pay a fee for prescriptions, two-thirds oppose having to pay for visiting a specialist on their own and 60 percent don’t want to pay for food and beds while staying in hospital.
The lower number of beds in hospitals is seen as a negative step by 88 percent of people, 65 percent oppose taxing sugar-rich food products, 79 percent do not want specialised facilities to close down and the same ratio of Czechs are against having to pay more for some medicines, depending on their cost.
The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,034 Czechs over 15 between November 30 and December 11, 2019.
Czechs paid a 30-crown patients’ fees for a visit to the doctor and for medical prescriptions in pharmacies, which were introduced by a right-wing cabinet in 2008. The fees were abolished by a Social Democrat-led cabinet in 2015. Now patients only have to pay a 90-crown fee for after-hours care.