Oncologists Demand Centralization of Care

Press release

České Budějovice 20. September 2005 – Board of the Czech Oncological Society CLS JEP (COS) held a meeting today in České Budějovice to finalize criteria according to which their professional organization will evaluate oncological workplaces in the Czech Republic before the end of next year. According to the COS, oncological treatment must be concentrated into a limited number of specialist workplaces that offer complex services and at the same time are capable of ensuring that the patients receive the best treatment available. Only then can the patients’ quality of life be improved together with cutting back on cost of diagnostics and treatment of cancer.

“The current situation when tumours are being treated by hundreds of workplaces of different levels regardless of equipment available, experience and professional base, is economically unsustainable,” said Professor Vorlíček, President of the Czech Oncological Society and Head of Internal Haemato-oncological Clinic at Brno Faculty Hospital. “If we want to provide patients with optimum treatment up to current standards and at the same moment respect financial capabilities of the state, we must follow the same path as other members of the European Union. That is organized provision of complex care,” Vorlíček added.

The aim of COS is to create, in co-operation with medical insurance companies, a network of accredited oncological centres in which the Society will guarantee provision of quality and complex care. The Complex Oncological Centre Status will only be granted to workplaces fulfilling given criteria dealing with diagnostics, internal, radiation and surgeon oncology, monitoring and control examinations in the course of treatment with defined responsibility for the patient, documentation administration and not least supplementary care for the incurably ill. COS also reckons with accreditation of the so called Complex Oncological Groups, where the best available care will be ensured by two or more co-operating medical facilities in one city or region. The Oncocentres Council of the Czech Republic set up by COS will be co-ordinating the whole network.

Oncologists working outside the accredited workplaces will have the possibility to sign up for co-operation with the closest centre and ensure the basic diagnostics, uncomplicated treatment, checks and long-term monitoring of their patients. Even this mutual co-operation will have a significant positive effect on the quality of care.

Centralization of care will enable the patients to take active part in the decision-making that concerns their own treatment. The accreditation system will serve as guidance in the selection of a workplace with guarantee that it has experience with treatment of tumour illnesses and is capable of complex care provision on the highest possible level. According to COS, the accredited centres will be available in most regions.

Every year almost 60 thousand newly detected tumour illnesses are reported in the Czech Republic. The cost of cytostatics for the past year reached around 2 billion CZK, which is roughly 5% of cost for all medicines. The cost of treatment of one patient can wary according to the stage of his illness between several thousands CZK in case of early detection and several million CZK with patients in more advanced stages of illness.

Prof. MUDr. Jiri Vorlicek, CSc.
President of the Czech Oncological Society
Jihlavská 20
625 00 Brno
Tel.: 532 233 642

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