Case study: Poland

Due to some obvious reasons, the private health care system has been developing much faster than the public one. And this is the way it works abroad as well. However, what is the public system’s reaction to such innovations? Is it more of approval and support, so that the private health care system can keep developing without hindrance, or maybe these two systems are just totally different worlds? It would be best to look into it using a real-life case study. 

One might be surprised that telemedicine has started to revolutionize the health care system in general. According to some latest data[1], within the next 2 years telemedicine will be used by over 16 million people in Europe (compared to nearly 6 million in 2016). Each year, the number of e-consultations has grown by around 50%. The system itself has been mostly used by the private health care system, but it turns out it might be the future of public health care as well.

First of all, the system has been perfectly adapted by B2G. As new regulations (introduced December 30th, 2019) in the Polish law say that the medical service provider is obligated to ensure the possibility for the recipient to use remote services using IT systems or systems communication, it’s obvious that telemedicine will be even more widely adopted. Each POZ has to enable recipients to use at least 2 hours of phone consultation. Telemedicine can be profitable because:

  • it makes health care more affordable and accessible for recipients;
  • it lowers costs of public health care system – for instance, it limits the number of groundless appointments;
  • provides its’ recipients with the highest quality of services – telemedicine makes it easier to monitor chronic conditions;
  • has no geographic barriers, therefore medical case conferences are much easier to proceed.

A few days ago, on February 6th 2020, we attended a conference organized by Mazowieckie Centrum Biznesowe: Ogólnopolski Kongres Menedżerów w Służbie Zdrowiu. It’s an annual event for managers who are in charge of medical institutions. This year the conference experts raised an issue of the latest legal regulations in the field of Polish telemedicine. Among the others, an issue of liability of having telemedicine incorporated into ZOZ (Zakład Opieki Zdrowotnej). It was decided that the growth of telemedicine in Poland is airtight and it is considered to become the new standard in the Polish public health care system. However, it will require a lot of education, yet the medical environment is more than open to new solutions in the field. It could be considered as a perfect way to lower costs and maintain the high quality of the medical services at the same time.

[1] The data comes from Berg’s (Swedish research company) report.

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