In comparison with the Slovaks, Hungarians and Poles, the Czechs
are the most positive about their health systems, a Central
European Opinion Research Group study has shown.
Czechs appear to be the most satisfied with their country’s
health systems in the Visegrad group, according to a recent
study carried out by the Central European Opinion Research
Group (CEORG). The largest group of respondents took a neutral
stance both among the Czech (36.5%) and the Hungarian (38.4%)
respondents. However, it was in the Czech Republic that the
highest percentage of people said they were “fairly satisfied”
(32.1%) or “very satisfied” (2.1%). In the other two countries
where the survey was conducted, in Poland and Slovakia, most people
said they were “fairly dissatisfied”, although an almost
equal percentage of Slovaks (32.5% vs. 32.2%) opted
for a neutral stance.
Poles were the least satisfied in the group with 31.3% “fairly
dissatisfied” and 29.8% “very dissatisfied” respondents. A
researcher co-operating with the CEORG on the Polish side,
Wlodzimierz Derczynski, gave a few possible reasons for the
negative opinion. Derczynski said that healthcare reforms which
took place in 1999 were perceived as having failed.
Moreover, there have been financial and organisational
problems (leading to limited services and long waiting lists)
while wide media coverage has further exacerbated the negative
public opinion, Derczynski explained.
When asked about the change in the quality of care in the
last year, the largest group in each of the four countries said
it “stayed the same”. Here again the Czechs were the most
optimistic with the highest percentage talking about a “moderate”
(16.1%) or “strong” improvement (1.6%). The Poles were the least
positive with the highest percentage of people testifying to having
witnessed a “moderate” (30.8%) or “strong” (14.6%) deterioration in
the quality of care.