This profile was prepared when Marketa Kralovcova was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Marketa has identified enormous gaps in respect regarding patients' rights throughout the Czech healthcare system and is working with medical professionals and patients' families to improve the welfare of seriously ill children throughout the country. Marketa and her staff advance protection of patients' rights by enabling parents to remain with their children in hospitals. She works directly with medical professionals to improve techniques for ill children's well-being and foster understanding of the social elements of their relationships with patients. Parents and loved ones are integrated into therapy for life-threatening illnesses. Marketa also links wellness to the environment in which sick children are treated and has organized summer camps and the country's first youth hospice, in which young people can receive quality treatment in a fun, comfortable place. Moreover, she helps patients' families overcome the lack of information and decision-making power in the care of their ill children by coordinating the first national evaluation of healthcare facilities for children, which is published as a report and on the Internet.