February 6, 2015 — The Proton Therapy Center (PTC) in Prague has signed contracts with the majority of Czech health insurance companies. These agree on providing a safe, gentle and highly efficient treatment of tumors using proton therapy. For Czech oncology patients, this means a U-turn in the accessibility of treatment by proton beam.
Until now, health insurance companies have approved individual cases for treatment. By doing this they have confirmed the demand for this method of treatment and the associated benefits, as well as agreeing on cooperation with the PTC Czech. The center has been treating dozens of British patients per month, the majority of them men with prostate cancer. The bottom line is, if radiotherapy is prescribed, proton therapy should be the number one choice for patients.
The PTC Czech is well known to the UK audience thanks to the story of the British boy Ashya King. Ashya’s parents chose Prague for his treatment in Prague to ensure the lowest possible side effects caused by conventional radiotherapy. Due to the fact that Ashya’s medulloblastoma needs full irradiation of the head and craniospinal axis, the benefits of proton therapy outweighed conventional radiotherapy. Most organs in the abdominal cavity are protected against unwanted doses of radiation and using a proton beam allows for a greater focused and targeted treatment.
The main benefits of proton therapy are higher cure rates, lower risk of side effects and complications associated with the high toxicity of conventional radiation. This means cost savings for health insurance companies relating to expenses that usually go hand-in-hand with the treatment of secondary tumors or side effects of the treatment itself. There could also be further savings in other areas for insurers by setting more favorable conditions of the partnership with the PTC Czech. As stated by the insurers themselves, it is the quality of life and cost effectiveness which made them open the door to their clients for the treatment.
The PTC Czech opened in December 2012. In 2014, the center started a two-shift operation and increased its capacity. It has treated more than 700 patients from 22 countries.
The contracts with the health insurance companies bring less paperwork to their clients and speed up the admission process, thus raising the chances of a complete recovery.
Currently, the PTC Czech is discussing contracts with health insurance companies in surrounding countries.
For more information: www.ptc.cz