World-famous beer culture and a rich cultural heritage: the Czech Republic most definitely has a lot to offer. Companies are welcomed by a highly qualified workforce and attractive business conditions and infrastructure. Find out more about exciting market opportunities in the booming Czech healthcare sector in our latest blog.


Czechia is a small landlocked country located in Central Europe, sharing direct borders with Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. The country comprises the historical regions of Bohemia in the West, Moravia in the East and parts of Silesia in the Northeast.

With its approximately 10.8 million inhabitants, Czechia is experiencing a demographic trend similar to that of many Western societies: its population is getting older. Figures show that, similar to the UK, about one in five Czechs is now older than 65. One of the reasons is the increase in life expectancy that the country has witnessed over the past two decades, now reaching 79.9 years, compared to 81.8 years in the UK.

The country has also been thriving in terms of general population health, with about two in three Czechs rating their personal health status as “good” or even “very good”. Overall mortality rates are dominated by cardiovascular disease, cancer and COVID-19, which were the main causes of death in 2021 and accounted for over 70% of all deaths. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, followed by colorectal cancer as well as prostate and breast cancer.

Around half of all deaths in Czechia can be attributed to behavior-related risk factors, with lack of exercise, obesity, tobacco smoking and heavy drinking playing a particularly relevant role. The country even has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world. That is why consumption taxes, for example on tobacco products and alcoholic drinks, have been gradually raised by the government in order to combat this situation and generate funds for treatment and prevention programs.

Another important trend in the Czech healthcare market is mental health. Awareness of mental wellbeing and psychological disorders is rising, sparking interest in relevant medical care and prevention as well as healthy lifestyle changes, self-care regimes and wellness products. According to estimates, around one in seven Czech inhabitants suffered from a mental disorder in 2019, and the most common conditions included depression, anxiety and addiction.

Health market

Czechia offers its citizens a strong, universal healthcare system that is funded by compulsory, income-based insurance. Seven semi-public statutory health insurance funds (SHI) act as payer organizations, with the largest fund covering 56% of the population. Compulsory insurance offers a broad range of services, and patients can choose freely among the SHI companies, although competition is limited. For example, the insurance companies are allowed to include additional services, such as vaccinations not covered by the SHI. Due to the comprehensive statutory SHI coverage, voluntary private health insurance has only marginal significance and accounts for less than 1%.

In 2021, Czech health expenditure amounted to 9.5% of the country’s GDP, compared to 12.4% in the UK. In general, outpatient and inpatient healthcare services are free of charge at the point of care, except for co-payments for certain prescription drugs, medical aids and dental care as well as fees charged for using out-of-hours outpatient services. It is estimated that 15% to 20% of the costs are borne out of pocket by the patients.

In contrast to the UK, Czech general practitioners (GPs) do not serve as gatekeepers, meaning patients can see specialists directly without the need for referrals. However, this has led to high numbers of consultations (8.2 contacts per year, compared to the OECD average of 6). These numbers generally tend to be lower in the UK, where nurses assume greater responsibility in primary care, notably in management of chronic diseases and minor health issues.

The most important regulatory authority in Czechia is the Ministerstvo zdravotnictví, i.e. the Ministry of Health. It is responsible for defining health policy and monitoring the healthcare system. In-home nursing care services are operated predominantly by private businesses, while many inpatient facilities are owned by the state (including most teaching hospitals and specialist centers). In 2003, the infrastructure was strongly decentralized and led to the creation of 14 regional public health authorities.


In recent years, digital health has been one of the key trends in the Czech healthcare market, ranging from digital fitness and wellness to online teleconsultations as well as digital treatment and care. The state has been promoting digitalization and electronic communications early on and introduced the digital sick note for patients in 2020 and e-prescriptions as early as 2018. The Covid pandemic served as an additional catalyst for this trend. The entire market volume for digital treatment options and diagnostics, telehealth and fitness trackers is valued at € 446.40 million (£ 387.16 million) and is expected to grow even further, by 5.9% annually until 2028. This opens up promising market opportunities for UK businesses that offer digital health products and services.

With an overall market volume of € 1.95 billion (£ 1.69 million), the general healthcare sector in Czechia is heavily dependent on imported goods. These include, in particular, electro-medical equipment, ventilators, orthopedic aids and consumables such as syringes, catheters and cannulas, and amount to a total import volume of more than € 1 billion (£ 0.87 billion).

The future market development in the healthcare sector will be shaped by the implementation of comprehensive investment and funding programs. Strategies such as “The Country for the Future” focus specifically on promoting research and development as well as innovative start-ups. University hospitals will also receive new equipment, and there are plans to expand clinical departments, with investments of around € 3 billion (£ 2.6 billion) earmarked to modernize healthcare facilities by 2030.

Czechia is also receiving € 826 million (£ 716 million) from the EU Recovery Fund for strengthening the resilience of the national healthcare and social services. In addition to hospital expansion projects and the purchase of new medical equipment, there are plans to enhance support for cancer prevention programs and digital health infrastructure.

Owing to Czechia’s aging population, demand for long-term care is also expected to rise significantly. Here, the management of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis and diabetes will be relevant in the long term, as will the entire segment of healthy aging and wellness products.

Legal and regulatory conditions

In Czechia, the State Institute for Drug Control (Státní Ústavpro Kontrolu Léciv, SUKL) is responsible for the regulation of medical devices and medicines. This authority reports to the Ministry of Health and is tasked with overseeing the quality, safety and efficacy of products in this segment. The SUKL’s responsibilities include clinical trial oversight, medical device registration, monitoring of production and distribution (including via pharmacies) and adverse event reporting. The SUKL also sets the reimbursement prices for medicines covered by statutory health insurance.

EU-wide and international health market

As a member of the European Union, the approval of medicinal products and medical devices, including medical software and apps, is governed by EU legislation. This means that these products do not have to undergo a separate approval procedure in each individual country. Instead, an EU-wide authorization procedure is generally sufficient.

In the EU, the distribution and use of medical devices, such as ultrasound equipment, braces and insulin pens, is only permitted if such products bear a CE mark. This label can only be applied if the essential requirements are met and the mandatory “conformity assessment procedure” has been successfully completed. The general safety and performance requirements are set out in the applicable EU Regulations 2017/745 (Medical Devices, MDR) and 2017/746 (In-Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation, IVDR).

For medicinal products, such as cough syrup or chemotherapy drugs, manufacturers have two options to obtain approval: either at national level (via the SUKL) or through the centralized procedure offered by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The second approval route affords the opportunity to get the product approved for the entire European Economic Area (EU, Iceland and Norway) by filing only one application, which significantly reduces regulatory costs.


According to trade experts, more than half of potential collaborations between Austrian and Czech companies fail due to language problems and the resulting mistrust and apprehension. Internationalization and localization can play a key role in promoting trustful relationships and mutual exchange.

Internationalization also has numerous advantages for the Czech healthcare sector, as it gives Czech hospitals and medical practices the opportunity to present their portfolio of therapeutic and diagnostic services to international patients. Translating clinical trial data and scientific publications also ensures that critical insights are shared quickly. In particular, the training and upskilling of much-needed professionals can include the best practices of other countries, thereby improving the overall quality of care.

What is more, translations are of great significance in the entire life cycle of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food supplements as well as lifestyle and wellness products. Here, it is of utmost importance to consider the needs of the target audience. Regulatory authorities may have different requirements, e.g. for filing regulatory documents, compared to a layperson, who might be seeking information about a specific disease and treatment online. Step-by-step instructions in fitness apps, for example, must be easy to understand and follow, avoiding scientific gobbledygook and convoluted sentences. Each use case, context and purpose will require a distinct linguistic register and style. Skilled specialist translators know how to achieve these different communication goals and offer a keen awareness of linguistic and cultural nuances, along with subject-matter expertise.

Given the various native-speaker communities in Czechia and its border regions, there are various different languages that are particularly relevant for the domestic healthcare market. The most important languages include Slovakian and Polish, as well as Russian, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.


Czechia’s ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance its healthcare infrastructure offer particularly promising opportunities for manufacturers in the field of medtech products, notably high-quality electro-medical equipment. With their expertise in digital technologies, British companies can also benefit from the rise in demand for e-health products and telemedicine.

Translations can facilitate trusting cooperation and overcome language barriers. Errors or misleading instructions in translations, on the other hand, would have potentially serious consequences, especially for the safety of patients and users. It would also expose the company to potential liability risks and reputational damage.

Having an experienced language service provider by your side allows you to transform these challenges into a significant competitive advantage. They will support you with linguistic know-how, local market expertise and medical knowledge to ensure communication that is both error-free and effective and instills trust in the brand.



autor_eurotext_100Author: Eurotext Editorial Team

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