Should expats bring their own loo paper when in a Czech hospital?

Published:  12 Apr at 6 PM
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Amid the furore in the expat world over compulsory private health insurance, Czech hospitals’ demands that patients supply their own toilet paper might at least raise a smile.

Over the past 20 years, the medical and surgical standards of Czech healthcare have mostly improved, but a recent report might well suggest a third world mentality is still creeping around hospital corridors. The disgruntled son of a recent patient brought the request into the public eye by telling local reporters about his 86-year old mom’s first SMS request after her admittance to a local medical centre - toilet paper!

According to the local mayor, it’s not a new request by any means, as the situation has been ongoing for years and is, presumably, affecting expats as well as Czech nationals. When he first heard about it, the mayor instructed his team to sort it by organising a drive for funds, the which resulted in 1,600 rolls of the necessity being purchased and sent to the hospital in question. Oddly, once the hospital had accepted the vital donation, it didn’t even send a note of thanks to the mayor, his staff or those who’d donated cash for the purchase.

Expats either heading for a spell in a Czech hospital or visiting a friend already receiving treatment should realise patients are required to bring their own toiletries, towels, soap, cutlery, nightwear, toothbrush and toothpaste and even toilet paper. The usual gift of flowers, books or chocolates could well be replaced by personal hygiene items, especially if the patient was too unconscious to collect them when the ambulance arrived. Stranger still, a spokesperson for the hospital service told reporters that Czech private health insurance covers hospital payments for toilet paper, etc, as part of the overheads involved in treating patients. The only exception, it seems, is that expats and nationals suffering from incontinence either due to advancing age or illness aren’t expected to provide either their own incontinence aids or their own toilet paper. For this relief, much thanks……
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