The Rising Cost of Preventive Health Packages: A Debatable Benefit

In a new trend sweeping across the medical field, preventive “packages” of services are becoming a popular form of extras in healthcare. These packages, offered by some clinics, often include vitamin infusions or even the detection of cancerous substances in the body. Patients are then left to pay hundreds to thousands of koruna for items typically part of regularly covered check-ups. However, the benefit to health in some of these cases is questionable.

The Ministry of Health chooses not to intervene as these offers are legal. “It is a matter of the patient’s free choice when they decide to take advantage of the offer for check-ups, which are beyond the scope of the preventive check-ups decree and are therefore not covered by public health insurance,” said Jan Řežábek, head of the Ministry of Health’s press department.

While health insurance companies cover preventive check-ups, the content of these check-ups varies according to age and gender. For example, from age forty, blood sugar levels are checked every two years, urine tests are part of a regular general check-up every two years, and women over forty-five can get a mammogram every two years.

An unnamed doctor who offered patients three types of preventive packages ranging from 6,500 to 9,500 koruna on top of regularly covered examinations caused a stir on social media. The items included intravenous administration of vitamin C and calcium, ultrasound of abdominal organs, laboratory examination for cancerous substances in the body, or ultrasound examination of the heart by a cardiologist.

While it’s legal, the pricing structure and the medical merit of these offers are debatable, according to Petr Šonka, chairman of the Association of General Practitioners. He also stressed that even though the benefit of vitamin C infusions is not scientifically substantiated, many health facilities offer it for around a thousand koruna.

In conclusion, while some patients are interested in these expanded services and willing to pay for them, the benefit is questionable if the doctor offers something that doesn’t help the patient much. The healthcare field might need to reevaluate these preventive packages and ensure they genuinely benefit patients.