CZECH PSYCHIATRIC SOCIETY
Czech doctors working at the start of the 20th century in the field of psychiatry and neurology hoped for the formation of their own association. This came to pass after the creation of the independent state of Czechoslovakia. The Purkyn? Association for the Study of the Mind and Nervous System (abbreviated to the Purkyn? Association, colloquially Purky?ka) was formed on 18.10.1919 after a short preparatory period of a special committee comprising Babák, Hlava, Janský, Myslive?ek, Pelná?, Rádl and Syllaba. The first chairman of the Association, which met every third Saturday afternoon of the month in the auditorium of the Old House, was Antonín Heveroch.
Since that time many things have taken place. The Association started its own professional journal in 1904. In 1956 it divided up its psychiatric and neurological sections. In 1959 the first psychiatric congress was organised at the Jesenik spa. In 1969 independent Czech and Slovak associations were set up. After 1989 some sections were made independent (psychopharmacology, psychotherapeutic, alcohol and drug dependence, biological psychiatry). In 1996 the tradition of the national conference, held every two years, was revived in Špindleruv Mlyn.
The association has had a significant influence on the development of Czech psychiatry. Every year we regularly organise 10 working meetings at the Psychiatric Clinic in Prague. We have elaborated a conception of fields, which are now approved at the Ministry of Health. Standards of correct care of mental illness have been published. We have elaborated a number of educational programmes, which concern the newly conceived diagnostic units pursuant to MKN 10 (social phobia, panic disorder, generalised nervous disorder). We have entered into the issue of postgraduate study with the help of our members in the EU Commission for Psychiatry. The Association Chairman is a member of Science Council of the Ministry of Health. Our representative is responsible for the categorisation regulation for the group of psychotropic medicines.
The association's international contacts are also active here, particularly since 1989. We have organised joint meetings with American, German and British professional associations, as well as regional conferences of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) in Prague and European Conference of the Association of European Psychiatry (AEP). Our representatives are active in various organs in both these important international institutions. The last session of the EU Commission for Psychiatry (UEMS) took place in 2000 in Prague.
Our original association had some tens of members, who gathered on Saturdays and paid an annual subscription of 10 crowns. Nowadays we had almost 1200 members. Our activities are estimable. The annual turnover of the association is almost one million crowns.
Let us hope our resolve remains strong so we may further develop the legacy of our predecessors and assist the development of modern psychiatry. These newly published pages will also contribute towards this aim.
Prof. M.D. Jirí Raboch, D.Sc. Chairman of the CMA JEP Psychiatric Association