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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Problems in the NHS. “Let the government not boast that there are more health expenses, because these are expenses from our money”

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There is a huge hole in the NHS budget. The new financial plan of the Fund assumes that expenses will be as much as PLN 11.5 billion higher than revenues this year. All reserves of the fund, including for treatment and medicines, have already been reduced to zero. Does this mean there will be no money for treatment?

The financial plan was changed several times, in the perspective of spending cuts and an ever-growing budget hole. The National Health Fund – as reported by “Gazeta Wyborcza” – has never been in such a difficult situation. In 2023 alone, expenses will exceed revenues by PLN 11.5 billion. – A catastrophe is brewing for patients. Let patients get ready that during the rule of PiS, we will have to provide most of the services at our own request – warns Dariusz Klimczak, a PSL MP. This plan was approved by the Council of the National Health Fund. In total, the National Health Fund will have PLN 13 billion less, despite the increase in revenues from health insurance premiums. – For example, subsidies for drugs for seniors, medical rescue services, the most cost-intensive procedures such as transplants, were financed from the state budget, but this year it has really changed. The fund now has more expenses and has not received any additional money for it – explains Aleksandra Kurowska, editor-in-chief of cowzdrowiu.pl.

The Sejm has already decided that the National Health Fund will transfer PLN 5.5 billion from its reserve budget to the COVID-19 Prevention Fund. What’s more – according to the plan – the cost of all health services will increase by almost PLN 5 billion, and yet it does not yet take into account the latest promises of the ruling party, i.e. free medicines for people over 65 and for children and youth up to 18 years of age . – This money has to be found somewhere. If the subsidies are not increased, because they have been eliminated since the beginning of this year, then the availability of other benefits will be affected. For example, access to specialists or, for example, limiting funds for hospitals – explains Łukasz Kozłowski, chief economist of the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs.

National Health Fund: the fund does not limit preventive examinationsTVN24

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Limited expenses

The National Health Fund cuts expenses. The provision for treatment and drug reimbursement was reduced from nearly PLN 4 billion to PLN 173 million. According to “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the financial stock related to migration, i.e. care for patients from other provinces, fell to zero. – The entire reserve that we submitted last year has been dissolved this year. Nobody contributed any money to the Fund. We pay and let the government not boast that there are more expenses on health, because these are expenses from our money – says Krystyna Skowrońska, PO MP.

The Ministry and the National Health Fund reassure that there is enough money for all expenses, including the increases announced in July for employees of hospitals and clinics. – There is an item in the profit and loss account of the National Health Fund that we could relate to our savings account, which today amounts to over PLN 25.5 billion – explains Dr. Małgorzata Gałązka-Sobotka, Vice-President of the National Health Fund Council. For patients, the most important thing is how this money is used. Whether they have access to medical care or do not have to wait for months to see specialists. – There is a 48 percent increase in spending on health care, but only a three percent increase in benefits. We have a lot more inputs, but we don’t have more benefits. What Law and Justice cannot do is to increase the availability of benefits for people – explains Marcelina Zawisza, an MP from the Left Together.

Main photo source: Facts after noon TVN24

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