An interesting story from The New York Times about health care being a basic human right in the Czech Republic and how the right wing wishes to undo this. See if this sounds familiar – “What we want to achieve in the health system is a higher individual responsibility, making the consumers more responsible for what they consume”. No longer are people patients or the sick, instead they are consumers and a profit center.
In the Czech Republic, you can now see a doctor for about $1.85. A day in the hospital can verge on $4. This is not cause for celebration.
For Czechs, who visit their doctors more often than anyone else in Europe, it has led to great outrage. In fact, the idea of charging anything at all for health care can generate significant controversy, not to mention abrupt about-faces in policy, here and in other Central European countries…
For healthy people with jobs, the fees are quite literally pocket change, usually paid with the same 10 and 20 crown coins as streetcar tickets in Prague ($1 is worth around 16 crowns)… But many Czechs see it as a matter of principle that health care should be free — though the system is financed in part through payroll deductions — along with a strong sense of solidarity for the poor.
Four at Four continues with the housing boom, dictatorships being held accountable, and yet another report that Osama bin Laden is dead.