Disability advocates criticize Czech approach to patients

An international human rights group, the Budapest-based Mental Disability Advocacy Center has criticized the Czech Republic over its approach to patients with mental illnesses, the Czech news agency ČTK reported on Friday, quoting the group’s report on the state of psychiatric care in the country. Czech hospitals continue restraining their patients and placing them in caged beds, according to the report that is to be presented in Prague on Monday. The findings are based on visits to nine out of 26 Czech hospitals and psychiatric wards; the rest reportedly denied access to the group’s experts, or ignored their requests. In 2003, the Czech Republic came under international criticism over the use of caged beds which were then prohibited by the Czech government.