On 30 August 2021 we published the first map of health needs developed in accordance with the new rules after the amendment of the Act on health care services financed from public funds – the Notice of the Minister of Health of 27 August 2021 on the map of health needs.
The published document includes:
- demographic and epidemiological analyses, analyses of the state and use of resources, including medical personnel;
- challenges of the health care system and recommended courses of action for the country and individual voivodeships.
The key change from previous editions is the introduction of a strategic planning system in health care. This solution will facilitate taking appropriate actions on the basis of data that reflects the real health needs of the population. This will result in a well-functioning, rationally financed and patient-friendly health care system.
The map has a new quality i.e. the formulation of recommended courses of action on the basis of which decisions will be made in the health sector, in all areas of health care. In the case of hospital treatment, we point out the need to optimise bed occupancy in wards, in line with demographic forecasts. The data also confirmed the legitimacy of shifting the burden of financing from hospitals onto outpatient forms of health care services. When it comes to primary health care, we emphasise the need to strengthen the role of nighttime and holiday health care in order to increase the number of patients reporting to this form of service and to relieve the ED of cases that do not require life-saving treatment. And we are not forgetting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health needs. Here, an important point is the further propagation of telerehabilitation, i.e. exercises performed by patients at home under the supervision of a physiotherapist via video call. Such an arrangement is particularly beneficial for patients whose health makes it difficult to travel to the site of traditional services, and it also reduces the risk of spreading infectious diseases.
Compared to previous editions, the analytical part was transferred to the online platform (the Database of System and Implementation Analyses https://basiw.mz.gov.pl). We significantly expanded the scope of the data analysed, in an effort to show health needs not only from the perspective of supply (National Health Fund) but also demand (GBD study).
The published document will help in investment planning and optimal spending of public funds in health care. The analyses and recommended courses of action will be used by public institutions to prepare strategic documents at the operational level, such as the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, national and voivodeship transformation plans, and cohesion policy. We have already used the maps while preparing a major directional strategy document for the health sector – Healthy Future, which will be published this fall.
The document will be in effect from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2026.
The map of health needs was developed as part of the project “Maps of Health Needs – the Database of System and Implementation Analyses” co-financed by the European Union from the European Social Fund within the framework of the Knowledge Education Development Operational Programme.