Hospitals have found a way to bypass loyalty

Ten post jest także dostępny w języku: polski

At the end of August 2018, the legal changes implementing the agreement between the Ministry of Health and the residents came into force. This includes the law amending the law on health care services financed from public funds and some other laws. According to the amendment, physicians who sign the so-called loyalties will receive an increase in basic salary to PLN 6750 gross. This applies to doctors who are employed on the basis of an employment contract with healthcare providers and who have signed an agreement with the National Health Fund for the provision of 24-hour or all-day services. In addition, these doctors commit themselves to not providing such benefits to other employers (with certain exceptions).

Establishments that have problems with medical staff due to this reason may apply to the National Health Fund for inclusion in the list of entities in which there may be a risk of lack of access to benefits. In such a case, doctors may work in such institutions despite signing loyalty cards. As reported by Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, almost all voivodeship branches of the National Health Fund have already published such letters.  Interestingly, according to the newspaper’s information, the NFZ voivodeship branches approach the submitted applications in different ways. Some of them treat them liberally and most of them give positive opinions. This is not necessarily connected with problems with the availability of doctors in a given region. Additionally, some hospitals apply for inclusion of all their wards on such a list – just in case.

According to the information provided by Rzeczpospolita, nearly 15.6 thousand doctors signed loyalty agreements, i.e. about 15% of all specialists.

According to the PMR survey conducted in 2017, the lack of qualified personnel is the second biggest barrier to hospital development in Poland.  This factor was indicated as very important by both public and non-public institutions. In addition, in both segments, this barrier was highest since 2012, when the first edition of the survey was conducted.  According to PMR experts, this was connected with the introduction of the so-called hospital network. The legal changes under discussion may further aggravate this situation.

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