Navigating the Czech Healthcare System

It’s been an interesting time here in Czech. As many of you may have already heard, i busted up my face a bit by falling off a bike. I know that this isn’t the most flattering picture…but this is what I looked like after the wreck!

Yeah…from the words of my dad “so, you can jump off a bridge and be fine but you can’t ride a bike?!?” (I’m good now – the fractured jaw is mostly healed and I’m happily eating again!)

Then while I was in Croatia, sailing for what was supposed to be a week to the Croatian islands…a good friend had an accident and I chose to follow him back to Prague for follow up and eventually surgery.


I’m not sure how to go about writing about the experiences so I’ve opted for a list..

CZECH Healthcare

  • QUICK! The time from initial arrivals (for both myself and my friend) were super quick in comparison to the US. We were both in/out in probably less time than we would have sat waiting in the US. My initial visit with Exam / CT / Stitches was less than 2 hours start to finish!
  • CHEAP! The total out of pocket was less than what I would have likely paid for a 10% deductible in the US. For a mere $85 usd, I had an ER visit, exam, CT and stitches.
  • QUALITY (?)  I’m a nurse so I’m probably a bit more skeptical than the average lay-person without medical experience. I’ll say that there were no frills here.
    • The exam only focused on the aspects that I indicated might be an issue. (Case in point – I was so worried about my face/jaw that I didn’t even think to mention the fact that my right hand could potentially have an issue. Because I didn’t mention it, the hand injury was never examined and now 7 weeks after the incident, I’m wearing a finger splint and hoping that I don’t have long-term damage to my joint.)
    • For my friend’s surgery, There was a lack of communication on processes (understandable with the language barrier).

With this being said, I believe that the interventions that were put in motion were the correct interventions and were effective in their outcomes

  • COMPASSION (?) The level of compassion/caring/hand-holding or whatever you want to call it, is certainly very different in Czech than in the US!! My lip was stitched without even a local anesthetic (which hurt like hell). And my friends post-op pain was managed very differently than we would have managed it in the US.
    • Pain meds were administered inconsistently and of different types over the course of three days – some more effective than others.
    • There was no pain assessment performed nor any followup of effectiveness. At times, it was very difficult to get pain meds administered.

IMG_20170823_115039.jpgThe responsibilities of the nurses was the largest variance from the US that I observed. The nurses didn’t do any assessments, other than BP and Temp once daily!! No monitoring of post op lung and bowel sounds, no encouragement of TCDB (turn/cough/deep breath) for prevention of post op pneumonia, no circulatory checks. Basically all I saw the nurses do is administer medications. HUGE Difference from the responsibilities of a nurse in the US!!  I guess the difference in responsibilities is why the nurses can get away with wearing these SHORT dresses!

I have to say that I’m thankful that my friend didn’t have any complications but I’m happy that I was able to be there to monitor his status “just in case”!!

Here are a few photo’s from the clinic in Prague and the several hospitals that were visited during both of these incidents. I’ll also add that I would highly encourage anyone traveling to obtain travel healthcare insurance!!

CROATIA Healthcare

JUST DONT!! If you ever find yourself in Croatia and in need of medical interventions, Find the quickest way out of Croatia!!