Slovakia Lags Behind in Self Healthcare

A new consumer survey shows Slovakia lags behind many other EU countries in using self care. Consumers lack knowledge, skills and income.

Bad Hofgastein, 3 October 2103: Slovak consumers wish to take greater control of their health through self care. However, they face barriers and are missing out on many of the personal, social and economic benefits available. This was revealed in a survey (http://selfcare.epposi.orgthat examined detailed attitudes of European citizens to self care for the first time. The Self Care Perception Barometer was commissioned by Epposi, a Brussels-based independent, multi-stakeholder health think-tank. It surveyed almost 2,000 citizens in 10 European countries, including Slovakia, looking at perceptions towards self-medication, personal health maintenance and accessing the knowledge and skills required for self-care.

photo (c) Ciell

Launching the survey at the European Health Forum Gastein, Austria, Jacqueline Bowman-Busato, Executive Director of Epposi, said; “Our survey shows that consumers want to use self care to take greater control of their own health and well-being. Almost 90% of people spoken to for the survey believe that self care is crucial to staying healthy and to managing their illnesses such as diabetes, incontinence or their minor ailments.”

However, many people feel they are prevented from managing their own health by cost, health literacy and even communications skills of medical professionals.” She continued; “These barriers can and should be overcome because the individual, social and economic benefits of self care are really significant. Even replacing a tiny percentage of hospital visits by self care, for example, would lessen financial and human resource pressure of health care systems, and empower patients and their families”.

Ms Bowman-Busato pointed out that many barriers were relatively easy to address. “Improving basic health literacy and providing quality information would be an excellent start.” In Slovakia, only 52% of respondents felt knowledgeable about self care – just over half the number in Denmark .Ms. Bowman-Busato also cited financial barriers; “Self care products and services need to be easily accessible and affordable; 26% of those surveyed said they found the cost prohibitive. Governments should identify policies that encourage self care, especially in low income groups.” This is particularly relevant in Slovakia, where the number of respondents indentifying income as a barrier to self care was eight times higher than in Scotland.

The main reasons for the gap between desire to self care and practice are a lack of confidence and a lack of information. Less than 20% make lifestyle changes, with fewer still choosing to self-medicate. Only one in seven people reported that they felt very confident to practice self care. In addition, a lack of easily accessible, reliable information leaves individuals dependent on other sources. The majority of people still choose to visit their family doctor as their first step in dealing with health problems, despite 75% saying healthcare professionals lack the communication skills to help. Around 20% use the internet as an initial source of information, with 10% asking their pharmacist. Source:


  1. Doctors, hospitals and pharmcists have it sewn up here and are not going to help change things for the better. Doctors and hospitals are paid on quantity not quality so are unlikely to support any move with financial fallout while pharmacists have a licence to print money. Rediculous – I have to go to a pharmacy for paracetamol, asprin or Lemsip, put up with twenty questions, stave off pressure to buy all sorts of concoctions that I don’t want or need and then pay through the nose. There is also the very effective propaganda of the medical and drug companies which appears to have turned the majority of citizens into hypochondriacs – the slightest suggestion of a sniffle or an ache and they’re off for a days wait at the doctors, a Smartie pack of tablets and a week or two on the sick. They even do special Christmas packs of medicaments to give as presents – forget the smellies and the socks here’s your years supply of pile cream! Then there is the clear relationship between commercial interests and a good part of the medical “profession” My dear wife suffers from flat feet, probably a result of wearing naff shoes in her younger days. Innumerable visits to a phalanx of “logs” resulted in a medical cabinet full of tablets, lotions and creams, a small fortune spent on spa treatments, massages and other “business” treatments – all to no avail. When she finally took my advice and started walking in her bare feet as much as possible the aches and pains disappeared. So much for expert medical advice here – it’s just a money tree.

    1. When I lived in Bratislava rather then in Austria, as I do now, along with my Porche, Karmamn Ghia, 4×4 and my young, stunning curvaceous partner, I used to watch local cable TV …I was stunned by how may adverts there were, for different ranges of pill, solving heartburn and wind ???

      I thought the was the drains outside ….obviously not .

  2. Georgie, Slim is right. People need money to “buy” healthy ways. Instead those few euro that are around go to the insanely cheap beer in SR beckoning one to DRINK BEER and forget the pit juice.

  3. on the contrary there, Aluminium chlorohydrate, a common additive in antiperspirants, and has been linked with increased risk of breast cancer. So on this basis they are already choosing the healthier (and noticeable) option! Secondly if id seen my utopian retirement vanish in a post communist flash, I dont think deodorant would be top of list, for my 300 euro/month. 😉

    1. So you agree with me then Slim, all Slowvaks just smell, because they cannot afford deodorant …but can 30 fags & the bottle of Gin a day ???

  4. Does the lack of using any kind of body deodorant count of a lack of knowledge healthcare ?

    Never sit behind any Slowvak over 60 on a tram or bus !

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