Transformation of the ownership structure in Polish healthcare and its effects
Poland, like other countries with previously dominant state healthcare systems, has introduced ownership transformation in the healthcare structure. These changes, however, are being accomplished without a clearly defined state policy in this area. The aim of the present study was to assess the course and effects of ownership transformation in outpatient healthcare and hospitals. Data were collected from publications of the Central Statistical Office, which provided information on the numbers of outpatient healthcare institutions, medical practices, general hospitals, and services they provided. The healthcare ownership transformation has divided the medical services market into public and nonpublic providers. In addition, privatization of outpatient healthcare facilities precedes privatization of hospitals, outpatient institutions providing primary healthcare were privatized first; the subsequent stage included those providing specialized services, at first privatization of ambulatory medical infrastructure preceded privatization of services in urban areas, whereas in rural areas, privatization of services preceded structural privatization, privatization provides favorable conditions to improve territorial availability of outpatient healthcare in urban areas, medical practices, although numerous, are of little importance in providing services, the hospital ownership transformation is at its initial stage, and structural ownership transformation in the Polish healthcare system is subject to market rules.
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- Agency for Health Technology Assessment, 02-668, Warsaw, Poland
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- Department of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, Institute of Social Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw, 02-007, Warsaw, Poland
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