Status and Discrimination of People with ABI in the Czech Republic

The aim of the project was to warn against contemporary unsatisfying situation of the system of care of people with ABI and contribute to system change of care and to continuity and interconnection of health care and social services for people with ABI.
The partial aims of the project were:
•    to expand awareness of brain injury among professional and broader public
•    to improve legal knowledge of patients and their families through published information brochures
•    to bring media in current situation of people with ABI in the Czech Republic and to initiate public discussion
•    suggestion of system solutions and procedures in the organization of care and services for people with ABI

Mapping experience, problems and discrimination after brain injury
A qualitative data collection carried out during interviews and within a focus group, focused on overall experience and modification of lifestyle of people with ABI had preceded a survey research. The following survey was organized in cooperation with some of the cooperating experts from departments of neurology and neurosurgery, and rehabilitation facilities. Over and above, we aimed to learn about the experience of the brain injured with accessibility of information, rehabilitation and benefits and other connected services, and get to know about their experience with discrimination and simultaneously identify the major disadvantages of aftercare of people with ABI.
We distributed more than 350 inquiries in total, and also created an on-line version respondents were free to fill in on the association’s website.
An evaluation report describing the areas in which the brain injured felt frequently discriminated was written after an analysis and interpretation was done. Download HERE.

“Brain injury; What next?” an International Conference
The conference presented experts from France (Gerard Geneau – the president of Union National de Famille de Traumatisé Cranien) and Netherlands (Dr. Gerard Ribbers), Denmark (Mgr. Hana Malá) and Germany (Dr. Marcela Lippert-Gruner, Ph.D.), who introduced systems and regulatory frames and system of neurorehabilitation and care of people with ABI that is considered standard in their countries. Czech experts (Prof. MUDr. Ing. Petr Fiala, Doc. MUDr. Olga Švestková Ph.D., Ing. Strnadová etc.) defined the recent status of the aftercare after ABI. MUDr. Švecová, a key promoter of the Health Care system that takes into account the payment amount for nursing and rehabilitation services, also contributed to the Conference.
The Conference took place at the premises of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
196 participants attended the Conference; the capacity was fully attended and thus indicated the current relevance of this issue.

Collection of contributions to the Conference
The Collection of Contributions to the International Conference was published in April 2009 at the extent of 112 pages. The collection comprises of contributions of the authors who attended the Conference; these are both in the original and Czech versions. Three hundred pieces of the collection were published and it has been distributed to applicants such as experts, officers etc.
Public debate “Brain injury, or great courage”
Participants– debaters:
•    ATP MUDr. Yvona Angerová - Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of The First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University
•    Bc. Marcela Janečková – CEREBRUM
•    PhDr. Petr Kulišťák - The Military Rehabilitation Facility SLAPY (neuropsychologist)
•    Mgr. Irena Köhlerová, MBA – Ministry of Health of The Czech Republic
•    Ing. Jaroslava Strnadová – Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
•    MUDr. Miloslava Švecová – VZP ČR
•    Anchorman: MUDr. Jiří Pešina (Český rozhlas – Czech Radio)
The debate took place at the House of Architects ABC (Dům architektů ABC), Wenceslas Square, Prague.
Almost 60 people attended the Conference, in particular people with ABI, their dependants and the experts.
Among the most frequent subjects presented by families as well as the experts were: little knowledge; assistance of psychologist in handling everyday or professional life; unavailability of certain services. The debaters agreed insufficient cooperation of individual departments and overall poor coordination of the system of aftercare after ABI to be the major problems.

Annex 1
Preliminary outcomes of the focus groups and the “Accessibility of rehabilitation, benefits and services, and discrimination after brain injury” research