So, FYI, there have been big changes in the Czech tax code and state medical insurance scheme. Firstly, we're going from a progressive tax rate to a flat tax of 15% for everyone, and secondly, from now on, we all have to pay 30 crowns when we visit the doctor. In case you're wondering, that translates to a little less than two dollars.
The money goes to the doctor, and is a new revenue stream for Czech medical professionals who, to put in mildly, are incredibly underpaid by American standards. Fair enough, right? I mean, when I go to the doctor around here and pay my pittance, no matter what my problem might be, I feel like I'm getting away with crime after years of having NO insurance, and paying my doctor in Los Angeles nearly $200 to let me sit in her examining room. 30 crowns? NO PROBLEM.
So, the other day, I was in a lesson with a student who will have her first child in April, and who is appalled -- APPALLED! -- that she will have to pay 90 crowns when she goes into the hospital to give birth. That's right people. Here in the Czech Republic, it costs the citizenry a grand total of less than SIX DOLLARS TO GIVE BIRTH TO A CHILD IN THE HOSPITAL (and, for the record, that includes a week's stay with full nursery support), and they are PISSED!
I know it's a bit of a non-sequitur, but I just thought I'd share that flabbergasting little detail.