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Cracow, Malopolskie, Poland, 2012/02/24 - The vast majority of non-public hospitals in Poland provide services under contracts with the National Health Fund (NFZ). The number of Poles who can afford to pay for costly hospital procedures out of their own pockets remains small.
whereas NFZ contracts guarantee a certain level of revenues and patient numbers. That is why even those private hospitals whose original focus was exclusively on commercial patients (e.g. Medicover) decide to enter into contracts with the Fund for part of their services, according to the latest report published by research and consulting company PMR, entitled “Non-public hospitals market in Poland 2012. Comparative analysis by voivoship and development prospects”.
Between 75% and 100% non-public hospitals do NFZ work
Of all non-public hospitals examined in PMR new report, just one in ten did not have a contract with the NFZ for hospital care in 2011. The proportion of hospitals with NFZ contracts varied from 75% in Swietokrzyskie to 100% in Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lubelskie, Opolskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie. The combined value of their hospital-care contracts with the Fund exceeded PLN 3bn (€680m), i.e. PLN 9.5m (€2.2m) per hospital.
“Of all non-public hospitals, the Brodno Specialty Centre in Warsaw had the biggest hospital-care contract with the NFZ in 2011, worth over PLN 137m (€32.3m), followed by the L. Rydygier Specialty Hospital in Krakow at over PLN 128m (€31.1m). They were the only nonpublic hospitals in the country with NFZ contracts worth in excess of PLN 100m (€22.7m)” says Agnieszka Skonieczna, PMR Senior Pharmaceutical Market Analyst and the report co-author.
The value of hospital-care contracts in the various voivodships ranges from PLN 11.7m (€2.9m) for the District Hospital in Zambrow (Podlaskie) to over PLN 137m (€32.3m) for the Brodno Specialty Centre in Warsaw (Mazowieckie).
Plan B increases number of non-public hospitals originating from local government sector
The dominant role of public funding reflects the fact that most of the analysed hospitals are former public entities transformed into commercial companies (in which local authorities in most cases retained a stake). Such hospitals are often required to continue their responsibility for meeting the health needs of the local community. The main factor that has fuelled the increase in the number of such hospitals in recent years is the so-called Plan B.
After its health reform package was vetoed by the President, the government in February 2009 unveiled a plan called “Support for local authorities in measures aimed at stabilizing the healthcare system” (so-called Plan B), which established a favourable framework for the commercialisation of public hospitals without resorting to a separate act of Parliament. It offered financial aid for indebted hospitals seeking to transform themselves into non-public entities. A total of 72 applications were submitted to the Health Ministry under the scheme, of which 69 were executed.
In the twelve years from 1999 to 2010, local authorities in Poland transformed a total of 114 hospitals and 55 hospital wards into non-public entities.
Multispecialty hospitals: new development stage of Poland’s private healthcare market
In our view, the main direction of development of the private hospital sector in the coming years will be towards the opening of large, multispecialty hospitals and facilities focused on areas hitherto monopolised by public entities (e.g. oncology). In the initial phase, private operators invested mainly in ambulatory services, opening private outpatient clinics. Then there emerged private one day surgery clinics and, later, private single-specialty hospitals. Naturally, private operators will continue to develop these forms of activity as well. In parallel to this, we will see the establishment of more non-public hospitals by local authorities, as the new Healthcare Provision Act creates powerful incentives for them to do so.
This press release is based on information contained in the latest PMR report entitled “Non-public hospitals market in Poland 2012. Comparative analysis by voivoship and development prospects”.