The Czech veterinary inspection launched on Monday checks of meat imports from Germany in an effort to curb the spread of the E.coli food bug. A spokesman for the State Veterinary Administration said the inspections, involving shipments of German pork and beef, are set to continue until the end of the week. The cause of the E.coli outbreak has not yet been determined; test have so far failed to confirm German-grown bean sprouts or Spanish vegetables as the source of the mutated E.coli outbreak were cleared. The infection has killed 22 people while hundreds of others contracted the disease.
Some Czech dentists have threatened to quit the country’s public insurance system if basic tooth fillings are not taken out from its insurance policies. The head of the Czech dentists’ association, Pavel Chrz said on Monday many of his colleagues already only work with a few selected insurance companies and demand out-of-pocket payments from patients covered by other policies. The Czech health minister, Leoš Heger, suggested basic tooth fillings be taken out of public health insurance but changed his mind after pressure from the coalition Public Affairs party. Mr Chrz however did not specify how many Czech dentists would consider getting out of the public insurance system.
Agriculture Minister Ivan Fuksa, in a Sunday appearance on Czech
Television, apologized for a statement he made earlier this week regarding
the cucumber scare. He had said on Tuesday that fresh produce could
theoretically be tampered with in any distributor’s storage facilities.
On Sunday, he apologized for this statement, adding that it could
negatively affect the business of distributors of fresh fruit and
vegetables. The head of the Czech Agrarian Chamber, Jan Veleba, said he
welcomed the minister’s apology.
Nearly twenty people have died from a mutated E.coli bacterium infection in neighboring Germany; cucumbers were shown not to be the source of the infection. Which foods exactly have caused the bacterial outbreaks across Europe is yet unclear.
Tests on seven suspected cases of the deadly bacterial infection E.coli have proved negative, the country’s chief hygiene office reported on Friday. The one confirmed case of the infection in the Czech Republic was that of an American tourist who had recently spent time in Germany. She had a moderate form of the infection and was released from hospital on Thursday.
Laboratory tests have shown that Spanish bio cucumbers imported to the Czech Republic via a German distributer were not contaminated with a deadly E.coli strain. The news comes days after German authorities backtracked on the initial claim that Spanish cucumbers were the source of the mutated E-coli bacteria that has killed 17 people in Germany and Sweden. The firm Country Life that imported the cucumbers said in a statement on Thursday they suspected from the beginning it was a “false alarm”.
The Czech Republic has registered 1 case of the deadly bacterial infection E.coli, with seven more cases being tested, the country’s chief hygiene officer reported on Thursday. The one confirmed case was that of an American tourist who had recently spent time in Germany. She is reported to be recovering well and is soon to be released from hospital. Two other suspected cases proved to be a false alarm and the national laboratory on Thursday received seven more samples. The suspected cases are from different parts of the country. Test results should be available later today or on Friday.
The sale of organic food products in the Czech Republic is reported to have dropped by 30 percent in the past week as a result of the cucumber scare. Supermarkets have also reported a sharp drop in the sale of fruits and vegetables and some have started ordering less of those commodities to minimize their losses.
Leaders of the Czech coalition government have approved the basic outlines of the planned health care reform. The first phase of the reform, which should be introduced in January 2012, should increase patients’ fees and curb the system administrative costs. At their meeting on Wednesday, the officials also agreed that the reform’s key principle – a new bill determining standard care covered by insurance and “above-standard” care patients will pay for themselves – would be sent to Parliament in mid-June. But a leading Czech expert in medicinal law,
Health Minister Leoš Heger presented the first part of a health care
system reform to the public on Tuesday. He said that a projected deficit
10.6 billion Czech crowns in his ministry’s 2012 budget could be
by several changes to the current health care system. By no longer
dental fillings and medication that costs 50 crowns or less, the state
health insurance company VZP could cut its expenses.
Mr. Heger is currently finalizing the details of the reform, which was the subject of intense debate in Parliament earlier this month. He is also currently preparing a unified legislation that would be binding for all health care insurance companies, and will present three additional proposals to Parliament by June 8. Some details, such as which services will be covered by the insurer and which will have to be paid for by the patient, are still unclear. An increase in patient fees for hospitalization was approved by Parliament in early May and is currently being discussed by the parliamentary committees.
Agriculture Minister Ivan Fuksa has assured the public that intensified
random checks of market vegetables in connection with the Spanish cucumber
scare would continue. Speaking on Czech public television the minister
that at the moment it was not yet clear if the contamination of the
had occurred in Spain, where the vegetables in question were farmed, or at
the end of the distributor, a German company. Mr. Fuksa said that should
someone have tampered with the vegetables, this could be labeled an act of
After it emerged on Sunday that over 200 potentially infected Spanish cucumbers were imported to the Czech Republic, of which 120 were sold on the market, Czech authorities ordered intensified random checks. An outbreak of bacterial infections believed to be caused by E. coli bacteria in contaminated cucumbers and other vegetables have killed 14 in Germany; further outbreaks also occurred in the UK, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.
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