Aging society, overworking, chronic illnesses – these are only some of the problems impacting the weakening of the competitiveness of Polish employees. According to Employers of Poland, a new approach to healthcare is urgently needed to make sure that investments in citizens’ health have a long-term impact on Poland’s economic growth. The platform for a discussion on the condition of the healthcare system in the context of economy will be provided by the I Healthcare Congress of Employers of Poland, to be held on September 29-30th in Warsaw.
– The discussion on the healthcare system takes place chiefly among medical professionals or between them and state administration. Sometimes, patients join it too. What is lacking is the voice of employers, which is why we have initiated the Healthcare Congress. We would like to conduct a substantive discussion with all parties involved in the healthcare system – explains Andrzej Malinowski, President of Employers of Poland.
When systemically analyzing spending on healthcare, we should treat them as an investment, one that brings multifaceted benefits. Employers need healthy employees who can work efficiently. According to the Health & Growth Compendium research conducted by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, chronic illnesses could diminish the GDP by decreasing the number of people on the labour market and lowering the productivity of work by as much as much 7 percent. Long-term, in an aging society it will be increasingly hard to find employees. It will be all the more important to take care of their health, so that they may be able to work and pay contributions as long as possible, thus helping to maintain the healthcare system.
Today, it is estimated that in 2035, 23 percent of the population will be older than 65 and NFZ will spend 58 percent of its funds on treating them. This problem will escalate: in 2060, the gap in healthcare financing may be 2.6 percent of the GDP. Without increased spending on healthcare and more focus on prevention, without using modern therapies and technologies, we will not be able to face the challenges posed by providing healthcare for an aging society.
Innovation thanks to healthcare
Currently, spending on healthcare make up less than 1 percent of the GDP. After 25 years of free market economy in Poland, it is increasingly hard to compete solely based on low labour costs, and the need for growth based on more efficient work and modern technologies is more and more pressing. Healthcare based on modern pharmacology and innovative medical products, diagnostics and treatment may be a motor of economic growth.
OECD figures indicate that public spending on healthcare should be at the level of at least 6 percent of the GDP. According to Employers of Poland we should strive to achieve this level as quickly as possible, but treat it as an investment. If we want to build an economically strong Poland, we should take care of our citizens’ health first.
About the Congress
The I Healthcare Congress, organized by Employers of Poland, will be held at the Sheraton Hotel under the motto “Healthy citizens, healthy Poland”. Workshops and meetings will be attended by experts in the field of medicine, economy and public administration. During the two-day event healthcare matters important for both the state and citizens will be discussed. The main objective of the Congress is to show that a strong economy can only be based on a healthy society.
The distinguishing feature of the Congress is its innovative formula, where plenary debates are preceded by several months of discussions among experts focusing on a given issue. These will be discussed on the first day of the Congress, compiled into a concise document and presented at a plenary debate on the second day.
The Congress is organized by Employers of Poland and coorganized by: the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Companies INFARMA, LUX MED, The National Association of Private Hospitals, Polish Hospital Federation, Zielona Góra Agreement, Private Healthcare Employers and “Rzeczpospolita”.The Insitute of Health and Democracy is a substantive partner.
I Healthcare Congress of Employers of Poland