Polish parliament approved a bill aimed to create a network of hospitals to secure basic hospital care.
The bill will reform the current system and create so-called “network of hospitals” which will have guaranteed contracts with the National Health Fund (NFZ). The criteria based on which hospitals will be included in the network heavily favor the biggest, public hospitals. The qualifying entities will receive 91 percent of total funding earmarked for hospital care.
New entities will be able to join the hospital network in subsequent qualification rounds every four years.
The bill, according to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) government will bring easier access to specialists and shorten the waiting time to see them. Critics claim that it will make it very difficult for smaller and private facilities to receive guaranteed contracts which will force them to cut personnel and scope of operations. Some argue that without such possibility spending on R&D in the private sector will drop rapidly.
Despite the earlier protests from,among others, Deputy PM Jarosław Gowin, the bill passed with 230 votes for and 209 against. The only PiS MP who was against the bill, was former NFZ head Andrzej Sośnierz.