7 December 2010

Our draft bill is the first step towards introduction of competition on the healthcare market in Poland. The vision must be focused on the patient. This means that healthcare providers cannot be divided into public and private ones. Everyone is a partner – this is how Ewa Kopacz, the Minister of Health, defined the vision of a comprehensive healthcare reform in Poland.

During the conference “Role and place of private health insurance in the healthcare system in Poland” organized by the Polish Insurance Association, Ewa Kopacz pointed out that what is very important to the Ministry of Health in the process of creating new system-based solutions is partnership and professional cooperation with the insurance circles. – We are listening to you because we are not the kind of people who think they know everything best – said Ewa Kopacz.

The draft bill regulating private health insurance has been long expected. Ideas presented during the conference by Jakub Szulc, Deputy Minister of Health, largely comply with the postulates of the Polish Insurance Association.

The Ministry wants to develop a definition of health insurance in the legal system and to determine the minimum scope of that insurance in the draft bill. Rules on which the National Health Fund will cooperate with the insurers will be defined. The new regulations will make it possible, thanks to this insurance, to obtain occupational medicine benefits and to finance the employees’ contributions to the company social benefits fund. The proposal also anticipates a tax break for persons taking advantage of insurance financing unprofitable benefits, scarcely available in the public system.

– We are very content with the declarations made by the Ministry of Health. Now we are awaiting concrete provisions to be implemented in the law. We anticipate that within the next several weeks the Ministry will send concrete provisions of the draft bill for external consultation, which will be forwarded by the Government to the Parliament – says Jan Grzegorz Prądzyński, President of the Management Board of the Polish Insurance Association.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health emphasized that opening of the private health insurance market does not and will not favour wealthier patients. – Private insurance will not be a key to jumping the queue to publicly guaranteed services – Ewa Kopacz announced.

This is an assumption on which the proposals put forward by the Polish Insurance Association have been based for years. – The private health insurance system must be founded on the rule of social solidarity. Everyone – those who decide to pay an extra premium for private insurance and those who do not – will benefit from competition on the health insurance market. Queues to public services will be shortened thanks to extra insurance coverage – says Paweł Kalbarczyk, Chairman of the Health Insurance Committee of the Polish Insurance Association.

We estimate that today, despite of a theoretically full access to public services, each year the patients pay a dozen billion zlotys for health services out of their own pockets. – Thanks to the private health insurance system everyone who decides to pay the extra contribution takes the burden off the budget of the National Health Fund, which will improve the situation of everyone taking advantage of public services – said Jakub Szulc.