Prague - Insurance companies spend more and more every year, in spite of that the mortality rate has been rising for the three years. That is the demographic picture of the Czech Republic in 2010.
In 2006, 104 thousand died - in the two years that followed, the number grew by hundreds. In 2009, there was 107 thousand funerals registered by the Czech Statistical Office.
Since the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, Czechs were getting better in terms of health, and the mortality rate was decreasing. This trend seems to be over.
„It was inevitable that something like that would happen," says health care expert Petr Fiala, a co-author of the health care programs of the Social Democracy (ČSSD) and the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL).
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Since 1989, the life expectancy grew by 4 years, thanks to modern medicine. However, this means that there is a greater number of older people now who are more vulnerable to diseases. Their treatment is getting more and more costly, however growing expenses do not cause the mortality rate to decrease anymore, says Fiala.
In spite of modern technologies being used to treat cardiovascular diseases since 2000, and more money being invested into oncology, the number of people that die of these diseases has increased in the last years.
It appears that the modern medicine has reached its limits. However, there are other reasons too.
Stress and unhealthy lifestyle
The life expectancy has stopped to increase before the Czech Republic reached the level of the developed countries of Western Europe. In comparison with the average Czech, the average Austrian is 10 percent more likely to survive the next year. Experts say that the difference is not in the quality of health care. Czechs will have higher life expectancy if they improve their environment and lifestyle, which includes eating healthier food.
„In the last years, the number of strokes and heart attacks has grown also because of higher stress. It is far more lethal than we believed," says Fiala.
Higher stress has another consequence - the rising number of suicides. The number of suicides was steadily decreasing after 1989, with 1375 cases registered in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 though, there was 80 successful suicides more.