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The National Health Fund is planning changes to surgical procedure pricing. Doctors warn that this will affect patients

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The National Health Fund is planning cuts and that's bad news for patients. Doctors even say that this is the beginning of a catastrophe. For starters, the National Health Fund plans to lower the prices of some surgical procedures, but at the same time assures that hospitals will not lose, but will gain. The Association of Polish Surgeons has a different opinion on this subject.

The National Health Fund plans to pay even less for surgery than before. For example, for colon resection procedures, 27 percent less, and for endoscopic ablation procedures of the colon – as much as half as much – calculates the Association of Polish Surgeons. This is the beginning of a catastrophe – say surgeons.

– Every day, several thousand people will die because surgery is necessary to save emergencies, life-threatening situations, hemorrhages, obstructions, and many other situations. Therefore, this underestimation is a wrong step – believes Prof. Tomasz Banasiewicz, head of the General, Endocrine and Gastroenterological Surgery Clinic at the Poznań University of Medical Sciences.

SEE ALSO: She wrote prescriptions for free medicine for seniors, got a fine. “The National Health Fund waited four years”

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Surgery is already at the edge of its capacity, because for years the National Health Fund has been paying too little for operations. – Lowering the valuation of procedures is a real attempt to put this field in a deepening crisis – assesses Prof. Dawid Murawa, head of the Clinical Department of General and Oncological Surgery at the University Hospital in Zielona Góra.

The National Health Fund claims that surgeons who perform these priced procedures are unable to read and understand the regulations of the fund's president. – The new price is actually higher due to the new price of services in the field of digestive system diseases, for example – indicates Paweł Florek from the National Health Fund.

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An attempt to patch up the National Health Fund budget?

The National Health Fund claims that general surgery departments will receive up to PLN 700 million more after the change in valuations. – Maybe we don't understand anything from this at all, because I really don't. I can give specific examples of surgeries: for example, surgeries that are performed in our country in large numbers, because we are a reference center for large hiatal hernias – says, in turn, Prof. Wiesław Tarnowski from the General, Oncological and Bariatric Surgery Clinic of the Prof. W. Orłowski Medical University of Warsaw.

So what is it all about? The government is quietly trying to plug a hole in the National Health Fund budget – says Łukasz Jankowski, president of the Supreme Medical Council. And it is indeed huge – the authors of a recently published report on the subject calculated that at least one hundred billion zlotys would be needed to eliminate it. Therefore, the government will have to recapitalize the Fund, hence the attempts to lower the prices of some surgical procedures.

READ MORE: The government has a huge gap to fill. It is said to be missing 160 billion zlotys

– If surgical procedures need to be priced, they need to be priced according to how much they really cost, and not use surgery to patch up holes and move money. Even Solomon won't pour from empty. Today, the National Health Fund lacks money, hence the movements we are seeing – says Łukasz Jankowski.

Does the Minister of Health have any plan to save the public payer? How much is the official amount of the hole in the National Health Fund? Izabela Leszczyna refused to answer these questions on Monday. On Tuesday, representatives of the Association of Polish Surgeons will meet with the president of the National Health Fund on the valuation of services.

Main image source: TVN Facts

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