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Cancer care in the Czech Republic: a brief overview

The network of healthcare facilities providing cancer care in the Czech Republic fully corresponds with current European trends. This network consists not only of highly specialized comprehensive cancer centres, but also of district hospitals, health centres, specialized outpatient clinics and other healthcare facilities. This website provides a detailed description of all Czech healthcare facilities dealing with cancer patients.

Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC)

Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC) are healthcare facilities – or association of healthcare facilities – which fulfil the criteria of providing healthcare to cancer patients, as declared by the Czech Society for Oncology.

The Czech network of CCC was established already in 2006, two years before the European Parliament issued its resolution of 10 April 2008 (resolution on combating cancer in the enlarged European Union); this resolution called on the Member States, among others, to adopt nationwide measures in order for the multidisciplinary oncology teams to provide optimal individualised treatment to all patients.

The current list of CCCs is defined in Bulletin No. 4/2015 of MZ CR (Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic), article 5, p. 26: "List of centres for highly specialised cancer care", which was issued on 20 March 2015.

CCCs coordinate and organise cancer care in their catchment areas. Highly specialised cancer care, educational activities and assessment of cancer care quality and outcomes are concentrated in CCCs.

Regional Cancer Groups and other providers of cancer care

In their catchment areas, CCCs put together the so-called Regional Cancer Groups (RCGs) within which mostly providers of inpatient cancer care cooperate. The workings and tasks of RGCs are defined in Bulletin No. 13/2017 of MZ CR (pp. 83-93), which was issued on 15 December 2017. A Regional Cancer Group involves each provider of acute inpatient cancer care functioning in a given region. Nevertheless, RCGs can also include other types of facilities involved in cancer care (follow-up inpatient care and palliative inpatient care, cancer diagnosis and cancer prevention). Cooperation within a RCG is bound by a contract and its main principles involve a transparent and clearly defined system of cancer care organisation, adherence to common procedures and protocols and multidisciplinary assessment of cancer patients, among others.

Information on all of the above-mentioned types of healthcare facilities is available on this portal, namely in the interactive map of cancer care. Detailed overviews are available for each region, making it possible to find a specific healthcare facility providing a given type of care, including accredited centres for breast cancer screening or those for screening colonoscopy.

Interregional and nationwide organisation of care focused on specific cancer types can be supported by the establishment and activity of the so-called Specialised Cancer Groups (SCGs), which will focus on the optimisation of care of a selected cancer diagnosis or a group of cancer diagnoses; these cooperative groups can only be established under the auspices of CCCs and must not disrupt their integrity.

National Cancer Centres

Bulletin No. 13/2017 of MZ CR also introduces the status of the so-called National Cancer Centres (NCCs). These centres are designed as coordinating scientific and research institutes which have extended possibilities of international cooperation within the CCC network. In each given area, NCCs act mainly as national contact points for international cooperation and do not substitute the competence of either expert societies nor the network of CCCs.