Pozadí astronaut Brázda
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Selling out czech hospitals, part one

It's six words long, it's located near Prague and it's raising David Rath's adrenalin levels. What is it? The privatisation of South Bohemian hospitals.

Autor fotografie: Karel Cudlín • Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Karel Cudlín • Autor: Respekt

It's six words long, it's located near Prague and it's raising David Rath's adrenalin levels. What is it? The privatisation of South Bohemian hospitals – a breakthrough reform that is bringing an unusual dose of tension into the Czech health-care system. How will it turn out? How will patients react? And what other regions will follow in South Bohemia's footsteps? Regional representatives just approved the privatisation last week.

Change is necessary

During the last 15 years, Josef Kantůrek hasn’t had a chance to be bored. Educated as a cybernetic technician, he helped launch the Temelín power plant. Later he became the mayor of Týnec nad Labem. There he became member of the supervisory council of a regional branch of the VZP [the country's biggest state insurer]. When he joined the council of regional representatives under the ODS, he was entrusted with the health-care department. „I accepted it as a challenge,“ says Kantůrek. „A politician doesn't need to be an expert; it's all about having a good team of collaborators.“ Under his leadership, the department produced a 120-page blueprint for South Bohemian health care, detailing what services the region would need in the future and how they should be run. This gave birth to a backbone network of four district hospitals (Příbram, Kladno, Kolín and Mladá Boleslav). Despite opposition from the ČSSD, these hospitals evolved…

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