Credit: Freepik

Czech State and Businesses Would Gain From Active Promotion of Employee Health, Say Analysts

The active promotion of employee health could bring an extra CZK 75 billion to the public finances and CZK 60 billion more profit to companies in the Czech Republic, according to an analysis for the Academy of Healthcare Management (AHCM).

On average, 266,000 people take sick leave every day, and the sickness rate has risen by 40% in four years.

The Ministry of Health is preparing an amendment to allow companies to deduct employee health care from their taxes. “The amendment will significantly support companies’ investments in employee health,” said Matyas Fosum, senior director of the ministry’s public health protection section. “Among other things, it proposes to extend the definition of occupational health services to include health promotion programmes.” 

A third of people do not go to their general practitioner for preventive check-ups. “Employers have great opportunities to motivate their own employees in various ways to attend these examinations, for example, directly in the company or in the vicinity,” said Oldrich Subrt, chair of the AHCM board of directors.

If a health promotion programme were introduced across the board in Czech companies, some 32,000 people could return to work. According to the available data, up to one third of work disabilities could be prevented. This could include preventive measures such as flu vaccinations, but also care from a physiotherapist or psychologist.

ACHM chief analyst Oldrich Subrt Jr said the analysis and foreign experience both suggest that if a company has its own health promotion programme for its employees, it may be two or three times more effective. “Over five years, its investment in the health of its employees will be worth 230%,” he said.

According to Czech Statistical Office data, the average period of sick leave was 26.3 days in 2022. The most common causes were diseases of the respiratory system.

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