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Michael Modro

Will, ever the health minister decide to commit political seppuku?

MedExpress Team

Michał Modro

Published Oct. 11, 2023 10:06

Will, ever the health minister decide to commit political seppuku? - Header image
This is a particularly interesting question in the context of the approaching date of the parliamentary elections, in which no political party is declaring to overhaul the health care system by reducing the number of hospital beds.

Because such political seppuku would be, without a doubt, a reduction in the number of hospital beds, leading to a reduction in the number of hospitals, which today seems to be the one reasonable solution that could realistically improve the financial situation of hospitals, and thus the entire health care system... also in terms of quality.

NIK audit results.

The results of Inspection P/22/048 "Functioning of county hospitals", which was undertaken on the Supreme Audit Institution's own initiative, are very interesting[1].

According to the results of the audit, as of June 30, 2022, there were 313 district hospitals that provided health care services financed by the National Health Fund. Of these, 297 showed liabilities.

According to NIK data, the number of district hospitals located across the country varies widely, ranging from eight in Lubuskie Province to 44 in Mazowieckie Province.

The indicated iconography, in general, shows how large the number of public hospitals is, not just county hospitals.

In order to obtain information on the operation of county hospitals, the Health Department of the NIK sent an inquiry to 275 county governments, which were the creating authority for them.

The questionnaire was completed by 223 counties (i.e. 81.1% of the surveyed units), which indicated that there are 249 "county hospitals" in their territory: 178 SPZOZ and 71 commercial companies.

As the NIK points out, although the financial performance of county hospitals improved in the 2018-2021 period, the year 2021 closed with a net loss for nearly half of county hospitals. Better financial results were recorded by hospitals run as independent public health care institutions. Nearly 60% of county hospitals at the end of 2021 had liabilities due, of which 36% had liabilities above PLN 1 million. In 2018-2022 (H1), 30% of hospitals had a unit construction project with a cost estimate of more than PLN 10 million. In addition, a shortage of doctors was indicated by nearly 80% of hospitals.

Growing debt of SPZOZ and district hospitals.<...

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