Insufficient financing is the biggest handicap faced by public hospitals in Poland

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:

According to PMR’s latest report “Public hospitals market 2017. Comparative analysis by voivodship and development prospects”, roughly 3 in 10 public hospital managers surveyed by PMR report that the creation of the hospital network represents the biggest challenge of the year 2017 for them. Many directors hope that when the network is set up the NFZ financing will improve – at the moment this is the most serious problem their establishments have to cope with.

Difficulties with payments for surplus services

PMR’s survey of public hospitals’ managerial staff again found that a vast majority of the respondents saw problems with NFZ financing as the key barrier to the development of the public sector in Poland. Hospitals name first of all excessively low valuations and the lack of payments for surplus services.

Other problems with NFZ financing are indicated by public hospital managers:

  • difficulties with contracting new services offered by hospitals (for a few years annexes instead of new agreements)
  • the NFZ’s too rigorous requirements regarding specialists
  • disregard for quality criteria when signing contracts
  • illogical allocation of funds (to unprofitable procedures).

A quarter of respondents mention legal barriers. In this year’s survey that barrier is mentioned more often than in the preceding years which may be related to the numerous legal changes now planned or already introduced by the Ministry of Health. The reported regulatory obstacles include:

  • uncertainty regarding the act on the hospital network, e.g. which reference level will apply to a hospital
  • red tape, the great complexity of legal provisions
  • provisions concerning pay rises for healthcare professionals
  • general absence of a reasonable analysis-driven health policy
  • instability
  • the public procurement law
  • regulations on buying up hospital debts.

Polish hospitals find it increasingly difficult to find skilled staff

Another noteworthy feature of this year's survey is an increase in the number of hospitals complaining about difficulties with finding skilled staff – a problem also identified in an analogous survey conducted in the sector of non-public hospitals.

At the same time there was a considerable drop (to 8%) in the number of respondents pointing to the inability to perform procedures on a commercial basis – this may be a result of the government’s recent announcement regarding the introduction of such an option. Also few hospitals name the necessity to adapt to sanitary and technical requirements (4%).

Other barriers:

  • intense competition, e.g. among district hospital
  • slow birth rateno funds for pay rises
  • NFZ monopoly
  • limited autonomy of independent public healthcare facilities (SP ZOZ): facility managers unable to decide on their own, difficult cooperation with founding authorities
  • inability to conduct marketing actions.

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:
Public hospitals market in Poland 2017. Investment plans and comparative analysis by voivodship