The Czech health care system combines compulsory universal health insurance with mixed public and private care. Health insurance is funded by individuals, employers, and the government. A number of physicians have private practices and maintain contracts with the insurance system for reimbursement of their services. As of 1999, there were an estimated 3 physicians and 8.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people. In 2002 there was one general practitioner per 1,780 persons over the age of 15. In 1999 total health care expenditure was estimated at 7.2% of GDP.
Health activities are directed by the Ministry of Health through the National Health Service. Factories and offices have health services, ranging from first-aid facilities in small enterprises to hospitals in the largest. All school children receive medical attention, including inoculations, X-rays, and annual examinations. In 1999, children up to one year of age were immunized for the following diseases: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 98%; and measles, 95%.
Special attention has been devoted to preventive medicine, with campaigns waged against tuberculosis, venereal diseases, cancer, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, and mental disturbances. Diseases of the circulatory system are the leading cause of death. Free guidance and care given to women and children have resulted in a low infant mortality rate of 4 per 1,000 live births in 2000. The total fertility rate in the same year was 1.2. The maternal mortality rate in 1998 was low at 14 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Average life expectancy in 2000 was 75 years, with an overall death rate of 11 per 1,000 people. In 1999 there were 19 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. As of 1999, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 2,200 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at fewer than 100. HIV prevalence was 0.04 per 100 adults.