CZECHIA | The Public Defender summarises his work in 2023 in the annual report

Stanislav Křeček and Vít Alexander Schorm have presented the Annual Report of their office for the year 2023. They welcomed the fact that ministries and authorities had successfully used the Ombudsman’s findings to correct maladministration in individual cases and to change inappropriate practices. On the other hand, they also drew attention to some topics that remained open, such as the transformation of large institutions for people with disabilities and, above all, the upcoming establishment of a children’s ombudsman.

Usually, our reports published throughout the year describe various issues we have identified. I would like to stress, however, that the individual errors committed by authorities represent only one side of the coin. On the other side is the fact that in 97% of cases, the authorities eventually corrected the maladministration we discovered. And that figure gives one hope for the future,” said the Ombudsman, Stanislav Křeček.

He also mentioned several specific cases where he had persuaded the authorities to change their approach last year. The Ombudsman traditionally deals with the largest numbers of complaints in the area of social security; last year, he addressed over 1 400 complaints in this field. For example, he helped a woman obtain an additional eight hundred thousand crowns of her disability pension, together with a significant increase in the amount she was entitled to – based on the Ombudsman’s report, the Czech Social Security Administration retroactively recognised the eligibility of the period of her studies.

Similarly, the Ombudsman’s intervention also helped, for example, the family of a boy with autism who had been seeking for years to move a temporary bus stop away from the windows of their house).

I am most pleased when we help people with specific problems and this eventually results in a systemic change. This was the case, for example, with parents being able to stay with their children in hospital. The lack of consistency among healthcare facilities in this regard had led to misunderstandings and conflicts between healthcare professionals and parents. After years of discussions the Ministry of Health issued a methodology last year, unifying the rules for hospitals,” said the Deputy Ombudsman, Vít Alexander Schorm, and added that lawyers from the Public Defender’s Office actively co-operated in the preparation of the methodology.


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Source: Public Defender of Rights of the Czech Republic

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