Private healthcare services market in Poland to top PLN 31bn in 2022

The Polish private healthcare services market will enjoy compound annual growth of over 7% in the next six years, according to a new report from PMR, “Private healthcare market in Poland 2017. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2017-2022”. The health insurance and subscriptions segments will grow at the fastest pace, but fee-for-service has very bright prospects too.

The total private healthcare market in Poland – defined here as private expenditure on health services, including via insurance and subscriptions, and on pharmaceuticals and parapharmaceuticals – is forecast grow at a CAGR of about 6% in the period 2017-2022, i.e. slightly below the growth rate that it achieved in 2016. The healthcare services component, however, will grow faster than the market as a whole, at a CAGR of more than 7%, reaching over PLN 31bn in 2022.

The slower expansion of the total private healthcare market over the forecast period will be due to relatively weaker growth in patients’ expenditure on pharmaceuticals and parapharmaceuticals, which makes up over 50% of the private healthcare market in Poland. One reason is that average drug prices will increase at a slower pace than the prices of medical services, a consequence of the pharma market being more saturated and characterised by intense competition, especially in the OTC segment.

Market growth will be highest in 2017 and 2018, according to our forecasts. Poland’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate to about 3.8% in 2017 before slowing thereafter. Nevertheless, the economy will keep expanding by about 3% per annum, and strong household consumption, positive labour market conditions, and rising disposable incomes will help underpin robust private healthcare market growth after 2018.

However, a gradual softening of consumption and wage growth is expected to occur over the forecast period, and a bottoming-out of the decline in unemployment, which will have a moderating effect on private healthcare market growth.

Demographic factors, i.e. the shrinking of the working-age and pre-working age populations, also will have an effect. One consequence will be a decline in the number of people in employment between 2017 and 2022.

In this connection, a survey carried out as part the report shows that despite their lesser health needs, people aged below 50 years are more likely to decide to pay for medical consultations or diagnostic tests than older people, which in our view has to do with their greater purchasing power.

Staff shortages will pose a problem for private providers too, exerting a dampening effect on private healthcare market growth in the forecast period.

In absolute terms, though, the private healthcare market will increase by a similar amount in each of the six years – between PLN 2.8bn and PLN 3.0bn.