Poland’s healthcare system has experienced a major transformation since 1999 moving from a centralised budget-funded structure to a decentralised system funded by mandatory health insurance. The country’s healthcare system is still undergoing reforms, the latest of which is the law on healthcare activities that came into force in July 2011.
Employment in Polish medical sector continued to increase in 2013 although the rate of growth eased from the previous year. In terms of doctors per 1,000 inhabitants, Poland lags behind its Central European peers, according to data by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also below the OECD average ranking the country 26th out of 34 countries worldwide.
Regarding the sector’s capacity, the annual growth in the number of general hospitals eased significantly to 5.8% in 2013 from 12% in 2012. The number of hospital beds fell from 2012, when it increased for the first time in three years, according to data from the Polish statistics office.
Poland’s total spending on health accounted for 6.66% of the country’s economic output in 2013, slightly down from 6.75% in 2012 and below that of its CEE peers. Public funds account for a share of some 70% of Poland’s total health spending, as the share has been hovering around that level in the past decade. Health expenditure per capita in Poland stood at $895 in 2013, the lowest among the so-called Vesegrad countries, according to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The value of the Polish private health care market grew by 6.3% y/y to PLN37.5bn (€8.8bn) in 2013 and is forecast to expand at an average annual rate of 7% by 2020. The sector’s growth in 2014 was above the 4.3% hike in 2013. The Polish private healthcare market is forecast to reach a value of nearly PLN46bn by 2017. The rate of growth will accelerate in the next few years helped by the improving economy.
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