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Private healthcare market in Poland expanded by 13% in 2008

In 2008 the value of the private healthcare market in Poland amounted to PLN 26bn (€7.4bn), having risen by 13% on the 2007 figure. Due to the absence of the required legal changes and the economic crisis, the market will grow at a slower pace in the coming years, rising by 7-11% year on year, as disclosed in the latest PMR report entitled “Private healthcare market in Poland 2009. Development forecasts for 2009-2011.”

2007 and 2008 were the best years for the development of the private healthcare market
According to PMR’s estimates, in 2008 Poles spent approximately PLN 26bn (€7.4bn) on healthcare products and services (up by ca. 13% over the previous year).
The private healthcare market in Poland consists of the following: cost of rehabilitation, diagnostic tests and doctor’s appointments covered directly from patients’ pockets, subscriptions offered by medical companies together with occupational healthcare services, health insurance offered by insurance companies, other payments covered directly by patients and undocumented payments (grey economy), e.g., so-called “tokens of gratitude” for medical staff. The presented value of the market also includes payments for drugs and medical equipment directly from patients’ pockets.
This means that in the period under analysis, 2007 and 2008 were the best years with regard to the development of private healthcare. The rapid development resulted primarily from a major GDP increase, which translated into a truly favourable situation on the job market. “As a result, Poles could afford to purchase luxury goods as well as services such as those offered by the private healthcare sector. Employers, in an attempt to offer more attractive career opportunities, often purchased employee healthcare service packages which, apart from occupational medicine, included a variety of other medical services,” comments Monika Stefanczyk, Head Pharmaceutical Market Analyst at PMR and co-author of the report.

Although 60% of the market’s value was generated by expenditure on pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, the key drivers of the market’s growth were sales of medical subscriptions by medical companies and sales of private healthcare insurance policies offered by insurance companies.

Faced with the crisis and the lack of legal changes, market growth will slow
In the coming years, the Polish private healthcare market will not develop as rapidly as it did in 2008. According to PMR’s estimates, its value will increase by around 7% in 2009. However, it should be noted that the growth pace will continue to be high, relative to other segments of the market. “Recession may force employers to resign from offering additional services, including medical subscriptions, to their employees. Some companies may completely give up subscriptions, while others may limit the scope of offered packages,” says Agnieszka Stawarska, Pharmaceutical Market Analyst at PMR and co-author of the report. Corporate customers can account for up to 95% of customers using medical subscriptions.
The development of the private medical insurance market is inhibited by the lack of relevant legal regulations. In early 2009, however, the Health Ministry resumed work on the draft Act on Additional Health Insurance. According to the Ministry, the Act is expected to come into force in 2010. Work on the Act assuming the division of the NFZ is scheduled to be completed in H1 2009, which means that private insurers will not be allowed to compete against the NFZ earlier than 2012.
Relative to the two preceding years, the growth of sales with regard to full-price medication and medical equipment will also be reduced.

This press release is based on information contained in the recent PMR report entitled “Private healthcare market in Poland 2009. Development forecasts for 2009–2011”.

For more information on the report please contact:
Marketing Department:
tel. /48/ 12 618 90 00
e-mail: marketing@pmrcorporate.com

About PMR

PMR Publications (www.pmrpublications.com) is a division of PMR, a company providing market information, advice and services to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern European countries and other emerging markets. PMR key areas of operation include market research (through PMR Research), consultancy (through PMR Consulting) and business publications (through PMR Publications). With over 13 years of experience, highly skilled international staff and coverage of over 20 countries, PMR is one of the largest companies of its type in the region.

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