Czech patients can be treated in Austria’s borderland for free

Czech patients can be treated in Austria’s borderland for free

Prague, Sept 19 (CTK) – Medical treatment of Czech patients in Austria’s borderland or a joint anti-flood warning system are two out of 189 projects that were presented at the annual conference of the EU Czech-Austrian cross-border territorial cooperation programme Thursday.

The EU contributed to it 107 million euros this year, when the seven-year planning period ends. The project of joint medical care focuses on the cross-border area between Velenice, south Bohemia, and Gmuend, Austria.

The closest hospital on the Czech side of the border is about 60 km away, the closest facility in Austria is right Gmuend. Some 150 Czechs were treated within the six-month pilot project in the Gmuend hospital. They did not have to pay for the care received and they had an interpreter at their disposal. After the pilot stage ended, cooperation continues outside the European subsidy programme.

Eight to ten Czechs are treated in the Gmuend hospital every week, project head Elke Ledl told CTK. The two countries may sign an agreement on mutual use of the fast rescue service on both sides of the border within a few months. The flood-risk warning project rests in forecasting the flow of water and water level of the border Dyje and Morava rivers. The joint two-day forecast with an expected development in the next three days allows local bodies to better and more quickly prepare for possible flooding.

Czech Deputy Local Development Minister Michal Janeba said in the next seven-year planning period that starts in 2014, the Czech Republic will have 10 to 15 percent financial means less at its disposal than in the ending period when it had 56 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund. The EU finances 85 percent of the projects’ costs.

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