The Council of Ministers adopted a bill implementing the Directive on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare with a nearly five-month delay. – We can assume, optimistically, that this law will come into force in the second half of the year at the earliest - says Grzegorz Byszewski, expert of the Employers of Poland.
Poland has always been against the provisions proposed by the European Commission because the directive is a significant threat to the financial stability of the public payer, i.e. the National Health Fund (NFZ). For entrepreneurs operating in this sector, it means both opportunities and threats. Possible success depends on their commitment and support from the Polish government.
The Ministry of Health, fearing an excessive number of people who - wanting to jump the queue in the country - will want to go abroad, included a number of limitations in the bill. It sets out a broad spectrum of services for which travel abroad will have to be preceded with the consent of the National Health Fund (NFZ). At the same time the bill sets the maximum amount of refunds for treatment abroad in any calendar year until 2022. When this limit is exceeded the possibility of obtaining a refund will be withheld from Polish patients.
Adopting such solutions will make access to treatment outside the country much more difficult for Polish people than for most citizens of the European Union. It is also difficult not to agree with the Governmental Legislation Centre saying that penal interest should be a compensation for the patient for a delay in receiving a refund.
Grzegorz Byszewski, expert of the Employers of Poland