Today I had to go to the Motol hospital, unaware that the premises were falling apart around me.

On Friday, a section of a floor collapsed in a building there, injuring a child patient and his mother.

Another part of the building – an intensive care ward for newborns – had to be evacuated due to a burst water pipe. The entire department was closed as a precaution.

The Motol hospital – or to use its full name, the Charles University Medical Center at Motol – is a pretty apt symbol of Czech health care: incredibly dedicated and talented staff working under impossible conditions. I’d venture to say that the care I’ve received at Motol is better than that I’ve gotten in the States; US hospitals have better equipment, but don’t spend anywhere near the amount of time with you.

Urgent repairs to the sprawling Motol complex will cost the Czech government somewhere between 1 and 5 billion CZK, and while the Å pidla government will discuss funding in an upcoming meeting, it isn’t at all clear if Motol will get the cash.

The money quote from the iDnes article was from the appropriately-named Josef Zoufalý, who said: “They finally have to do something. You can’t just go to a hospital and fear for your life.”

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