Czech News in Brief

Today’s news in brief, on Wednesday 10 May… 

VZP Spends CZK 19.3 Billion On Cancer Treatment in 2022

Prague – The biggest Czech health insurance company, VZP, spent CZK 19.3 billion on cancer treatment in 2022, around CZK 2.5 billion more than the previous year. More than 300,000 of its clients were treated for cancer last year, mostly skin, breast and male genital cancer, VZP said in a press release yesterday.

About 60% of the Czech population are insured with VZP. Every year, doctors diagnose tumours in more than 85,000 people, and roughly 28,000 people die of cancer.

VZP spokeswoman Viktorie Plivova said the OECD’s oncological profile of the Czech Republic points to risk factors in the country, such as high consumption of alcohol, a high number of smokers, and among the highest numbers of overweight and obese people in the EU. On the other hand, the OECD noted a marked improvement in the quality of oncological treatment in recent years and well-established screening programs, she said.

Police Arrest Three Men Producing Meth in Moravia

Olomouc – Czech police have uncovered a group of three men suspected of producing and distributing methamphetamine. The main perpetrator has produced up to 14.5 kg of the substance, which could be sold on the black market for roughly CZK 29 million, regional criminal police head Jan Lisicky said yesterday.

The three men from the Olomouc Region face up to 18 years in prison if found guilty.

They imported the substances necessary to produce pervitin (methamphetamine) production from Poland. Their gang was producing meth at least from August 2022 to April 2023. The criminal police found two laboratories used for production.

First Offspring of Newly Bred Aurochs Born in Czech Milovice Reserve

Milovice, Central Bohemia – Two auroch calves were born on Monday in the large ungulates nature reserve in the former military area in Milovice, northeast of Prague, as the first offspring of the newly bred aurochs, said Dalibor Dostal, head of the Czech Landscape environmental organisation, speaking to CTK.

The father of the newborn offspring is one of the two bulls brought to the reserve from the Netherlands last May, along with four cows, in order to boost the genetic diversity of the local two herds, Dostal said. So far, all calves born in Milovice were the offspring of a single bull from the initial herd brought to the reserve when it was established in 2015.

Since 2008, Dutch experts have been trying to revive the species which became extinct in the 17th century. The process is expected to take 50 years. The Dutch Taurus Foundation, which gave the new animals to Milovice last year, sent the first aurochs there in October 2015. With its area of ​​350 hectares, the Milovice reserve is the largest in the Czech Republic. More than 100 heads of aurochs, wisents and wild horses live there on an open steppe.

Pilot Injured in Ultralight Plane Crash Near Rokycany

Rokycany, Plzen Region – The 77-year-old pilot of an ultralight plane suffered serious injuries when his ultralight plane crashed at Rokycany airport yesterday morning, and he was airlifted to the Plzen Teaching Hospital by a rescue service helicopter, regional emergency service spokeswoman Maria Svobodova told CTK.

The firefighters were the first on the scene of the accident to provide medical aid to the pilot, said fire service spokesman Petr Poncar. The circumstances of the plane crash are being investigated by the local police, while inspectors from the Air Accidents Investigation Institute are also looking into the case.

This is the second air accident in the Plzen Region in the space of a few days. On Sunday evening, two smaller Cessna aircraft each with two people on board collided at the airport in Chaloupky near Klatovy during a landing manoeuver, but no one was seriously injured. Two men in their fifties and two children were taken to the Plzen Teaching Hospital.

Swiss Police Arrest Czech Woman Impersonating a Police Officer

Bern – Swiss police on Monday arrested a Czech woman pretending to be a local police officer in an attempt to extort money from a Swiss man, according to their website.

The 57-year-old Czech woman contacted the man with an invented story that his daughter had a road accident and would have to remain in prison unless he deposited 45,000 Swiss francs with the police so she could be released on bail.

The man suspected that the woman was not telling the truth, so he contacted the police, who arrested her in the town of Sachseln where she was to take the money from the man.

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