It is generally recognised that Czech physicians over-prescribe antibiotics, leading to the genesis of new antibiotic-resistant bacterial stems. According to Dr Vlastimil Jindrak, who heads the antibiotic unit at Prague Homolka Hospital, it is more than likely that antibiotics worth over CZK one billion are prescribed and used improperly each year. Czech officials and healthcare sector leaders are preparing a public campaign similar to French one, expecting that both health professionals and the public will gain better knowledge of appropriate ATB usage.
Another Nobel Prize winner? The Czech Academy of Sciences has announced that its representatives will nominate Professor Antonin Holy for Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2009. Interviewed by a newspaper, Academy Chairman Professor Vaclav Paces said: ‘We will do our best to make the Nobel Prize committee members change their thinking in a way to recognise not only exceptional minds working in basic research but also those who developed instruments directly saving patients’ lives. This is the case for Prof Holy’s discoveries.’
Prof Holy is certainly one of the brightest brains Czech science has ever had. His numerous discoveries include antivirotics used for the treatment of herpetic eruptions (Duvira, 1980, or Vistide, 1996), AIDS/HIV (Viread, 2001 or Truvada, 2004) or hepatitis B (Hepsera, 2002). He invented the above mentioned drug, Viread, in 2001; it is currently the most powerful treatment available for AIDS/HIV infection. Should the Academy of Sciences efforts be fruitful, Prof Holy would be just third Czech and Nobel Laureate in this country’s history. So far, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (polarography) was awarded to Jaroslav Heyrovsky in 1959, and to Jaroslav Seifert in 1984 for literature.
Air ambulances are ineffective – Several Czech hospitals have inappropriately situated helipads for air ambulances landing, according to recent reports. Helipads have been located too far from the hospitals, resulting in double-transportation for patients: first by helicopter to the hospital, then by ambulance to the emergency room. Usually, helipads should be located on hospital roofs or at nearest accessible area. However, this is not the case in some locations, and time needed for patients’ transportation becomes unnecessarily long (in some cases by almost 12 minutes) resulting in undue risk in emergencies.