The Polish Union of Clinical Hospitals (PUSK) calls for immediate action to improve the extremely difficult financial situation faced by clinical hospitals in Poland. According to the Union, although such institutions have been facing various problems for years, they have reached the end of their ability to function safely over the last few months.
Increase in salaries as the main reason
According to the data collected from 32 clinical hospitals and presented in the report of the Polish Union of Clinical Hospitals, in the first half of 2019, the cumulative result on sales of the facilities was minus PLN 428m. At the same time, the net result was nearly minus PLN 220m. Liabilities and provisions for liabilities have already exceeded PLN 5.4bn, of which PLN 2.4bn were short-term liabilities.
In the first half of 2019, the costs of remuneration from the employment relationship of the surveyed units amounted to PLN 1.7bn. This is an increase of over one third compared to the first half of 2017. The costs of on-call duty increased even more, from PLN 102m in the first half of 2017 to PLN 188m two years later (84%). PUSK makes no secret of the fact that the dramatic situation of the facilities was caused by a number of wage regulations imposed in recent months by the Ministry of Health. These have resulted in “degradation of the salary system in hospitals”. This means that although the directors of hospitals received additional funds from the NFZ (revenues from the NFZ increased by 27% over two years), they were unequivocally allocated to increase salaries.
PUSK: Further increase in costs in 2020
According to PUSK, the current valuation of procedures also contributes to the very difficult financial situation of clinical hospitals. It has not been updated for many years. In addition, it does not reflect the costs incurred by hospitals, which are centres with the highest degree of reference and carry out highly specialised procedures. This requires the provision of state-of-the-art equipment and top-class medical staff.
In 2020, wage costs will continue to rise, due to the increase in the minimum wage. This will apply, among others, to the room and technical staff or porters. Consequently, their salaries will be equal to those of qualified staff such as physiotherapists and laboratory diagnosticians. PUSK stresses that the entities will not be able to meet financial claims arising in this way. Apart from the increase in salaries, the costs of electricity and waste disposal or services such as catering and cleaning are also expected to increase in 2020.