As announced on November 8, the government adopted a draft amendment to the Law on Physician and Dentist Professions and Certain Other Laws. One of the consequences of the change in the rules for financing services is that the National Health Fund will take over the financing of the tasks of emergency medical teams. This is an important development. Since 2006, when Jaroslaw Kaczynski was prime minister, by the decision of then Health Minister Zbigniew Religa, the rescue service was financed directly from the state budget, which Prof. Religa considered one of his greatest successes. The value of the outlay is PLN 3,604 million.
According to the initiators, the bill is, in principle, neutral for the public finance sector. They acknowledged that "the financial effects of the proposed solutions will be covered by money provided for in the financial plan of the National Health Fund or funds accumulated in the reserve fund." The problem is that the total value of additional expenditures (including the cost of mandatory vaccinations, including those for COVID, HIV-related treatment programs) is more than PLN 7.5 billion. That's how much less the National Health Fund will have for other expenses in 2023, and the pressure is enormous. Increases in energy prices, wage pressures are a daily reality for the public payer.
In addition, the state budget, as proposed in the adopted amendments, will take over the funds accumulated in the National Health Fund's reserve fund unused for the treatment of patients, the value of which exceeded 10 billion this year. The proposed regulatory changes will provide formal opportunities for a one-time replenishment in 2023. COVID-19 Prevention Fund with funds from this National Health Fund reserve fund. Theoretically, these funds are to be used to finance, among other things, immunizations related to countering COVID-19 and costs related to the operation of the National Immunization Program hotline. But it is worth being aware that a one-time coal allowance worth 3,000 zlotys to spend on anything, not just coal, the total cost of which reaches 11 billion zlotys is also financed from the COVID countermeasure fund.