An increasingly elderly society, a declining working-age population, a growing number of diseases, including civilisation diseases – in the face of these challenges, creating an efficient health care system seems to be nothing less than a necessity. This is a particularly difficult task taking into consideration the growing difficulty with access to qualified medical staff, including doctors and nurses, as well as a chronic deficiency of funds. When Poland reaches the 6% threshold of GDP spending on healthcare, in other European countries, the share of expenditure on health will already have reached a much higher level. It is, therefore, not enough to just catch up with EU leaders – Poland needs a sensible roadmap for health care. For this reason, considering the construction of an efficient health care system as one of the priorities of the state policy, the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, in consultation with affiliated companies from the medical sector, decided to establish the Public Health Forum.
“We believe that health care is one of those topics where consensus as to the general direction of change is vital,” says Marcin Nowacki, vice-president of the Union. “Our vision of the healthcare system assumes the coexistence of public and private entities, because in our view such a model will prove most effective. At the moment, one of the biggest threats from the regulator is attempting to curb access to the market for private entities. That is why this year we will focus on key regulations defining the areas of cooperation of medical entities, as well as on enhancing a transparent market by co-financing procedures”.
In addition to the issues mentioned above, the Forum’s priorities for this year include matters related to the development of telemedicine as a response to staff shortages, as well as building a concept of reinforcing the role of medical staff by granting new powers, among others, to nurses or pharmacists. The main goals of the Forum include, to name a few, cooperation in the scope of program and legislative works (both domestically and at the EU level), preparation of common legislative positions, conducting analytical projects, as well as a general promotion of sensible, pro-competition models in the field of state health policy. In order to build political coalitions around specific issues, as well as to distribute concepts and ideas created within the Forum, it will cooperate, inter alia, with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Investment and Development, the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, as well as members of the parliament and senators.
“I am very pleased that the Public Health Forum was established within the framework of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers,” says Agnieszka Szpara, CEO of Affidea Sp. z o. o. “I think that a substantive discussion is needed regarding both the role of private and public entities in the whole system, as well as specific solutions that aim to improve the quality of healthcare as such. After all, health has both a private and public dimension, everyone is responsible for it as a patient, but also as a society, we must set up public health priorities. I am convinced that cooperation within the Forum will bring to life many interesting ideas and concepts created by representatives of various organisations. After all, our goal is common – for patients in Poland to have access to the best possible medical services”.