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The Polish MoH presented the second package of the systemic health laws (the first one was vetoed in 2008) including the Law on E-health project. It has been submitted to the social cosultations on 23rd of August and the deadline for sending feedback was 30th of August. The project aims at the improvement of the whole health care system, and the MoH declared that the new law will change its efficiency and responsiveness to patients´ needs significantly.
The Polish President's death has put the commercialisation of public hospitals back on the agenda. A critical struggle has focused on the problem of the hospitals' commercialisation. On 14th of October the government accepted the project of the Law on Healing Activities with special concern dedicated to health services delivery in hospitals. The government states that the commercialisation will make the financial management of health care facilities efficient (debt decrease).
The MoH presented the second package of health laws (the first one was vetoed by the President in 2008) including the Law on Patients´ Rights Project. It has been submitted to social consultations on 3rd of September and the deadline for sending feedback was 1st of October. The project has also been internally discussed by the Minister's Council with leadership of the Prime Minister. The impact of the change, announced by MoH as "revolutionary", is currently being criticized.
Following the concept of the publicly financed health service basket introduced by law, the MoH issued an executive regulation on High Level Specialist (HLS) services. The respective regulation determines both the list of the guaranteed services financed from public sources and the delivery conditions. The HLS services are financed directly from the central state budget. The process of the service provision is regulated additionally by an agreement between health services providers and the MoH.
The Law from 25th of June 2009 is the legal basis for the executive regulations determining and regulating particular groups of services included into the basket: it states the rules of inclusion and the MoH obligation to prepare 13 of such executive regulations comprising the lists of health services (financed from the public financial resources: NHF, central budget or others). The MoH executive regulation from 31.08.2009 on guaranteed services for long term care is the subject of this report.
Following the concept of the guaranteed health services basket, implemented by the amendment to the law, the MoH introduced a decree on Primary Health Care (PHC) services. A shortened time of access ? overnights and on weekends ? was approved as a rule for contracts between the payer and providers, together with a narrowed scope of competences attributed to PHC, increasing demand for specialist care. Advantages for one side, the PHC-providers, may prove to be rather dissatisfying for the other.
On the 26th of July a law on the health benefit basket has been passed by the Polish parliament. The law determines the rules of how to include healthcare services into benefit basket of guatanteed services. Regarding the new regulation, the MoH is obliged to prepare 13 executive regulations comprising the lists of health services financed from the public financial resources (NHF or others).
The Law on health care units was blocked by the President in 2008. In April 2009, the Polish government adopted a Plan B called ?Save Polish Hospitals? which entails providing financial support for local governments in case of restructurization of public hospitals into commercial companies. The program was announced in the form of a government resolution entitled "Support for Local Government aiming at Stabilisation of the Healthcare System". It will be realised during 2009?2011.
After an exhausting legislative process the law on patients? rights came into force in May 2009. for the first time all rights, previously dispersed in different acts, have been codified. One of the major guaranties that the rights will be observed is the newly created post of the health Ombudsman whose mission is to strengthen the patients? position. However, his potency seems to be weaker than expected.
After wide discussions and debates on the situation in the Polish health care sector, the law on health care units, prepared by the parliamentary health commission together with MoH, was passed on October 2008. The proposed law was changed during the legislation process due to the lack of an agreement between the government and the parliamentary opposition. Finally the President vetoed the law. The presidential veto completely blocked the law implementation process.