The rules on the functioning of private medical facilities are regulated by the Act on medical activity of 2011. Under this Act, primary healthcare, specialist outpatient healthcare single-day healthcare admission, and hospital treatment are performed by medical entities.
In order to undertake private medical activity (except for a public-benefit organisations) it is necessary to start a company. A private entity may be founded by, for example, a natural person, a partnership, a joint-stock company, a foundation, an association, a religious association, or a research institute.
According to data from the Healthcare Employers' Association (PZOZ), private medical entities dominate the market for primary healthcare - their share is around 83 percent. In the case of specialist outpatient healthcare, PZOZ estimates that the share is 50-60 percent of the facilities.
Conditions to conduct healthcare activities
Under the Act, a company may conduct only one type of healthcare activity. In order to undertake more types of healthcare activities, more than one company has to be established.
Apart from registering an economic activity, it is necessary to register the healthcare facility with the register of the local Voivodeship Governor. Only after having been registered, a company may start its activities.
Entry in the register should be preceded by complying with a number of conditions. The basic one of these is proper premises which are approved by the State Sanitary Inspectorate.
Premises, teams, insurance
The premises should comply with the general spatial and installation conditions - the details are subject to regulations by the Minister of Health. The premises should also be equipped with medical devices complying with the Act on medical products.
Another condition apart from the premises is the team which will make sure that the medical services are delivered by persons practising the medical profession and complying with the health requirements defined in separate regulations.
Taking out civil liability insurance that covers injuries incurred as a result of performing medical services or the illegal omission of performing medical services is also necessary.
From 1 May 2016 the insurance for patients against medical events defined in the regulations on patients' rights and the Ombudsman of Patients’ Rights will be mandatory (in the case of hospitals).
Contracts with NFZ (the National Health Fund)
A private facility may try to solicit public funds. In order to do this it is necessary to conclude an agreement between the service provider and the director of the voivodeship branch of the National Health Fund.
The Act on healthcare services financed from public funds guarantees equal treatment for entities which bid for contracts with NFZ for both public and private entities.
In the case of primary healthcare, concluding the agreement is finalised after complying with the conditions on delivering services defined by the President of NFZ. In other cases the agreement is concluded in a competition for tenders, or through negotiations. In the former case the Fund's call for tenders should be responded to; in the latter, the Fund itself sends invitations.
Under the Act, the medical entity may state the type of services offered. However, this information cannot have the nature of an advertisement. Offering and advertising funeral services is also forbidden in the place where healthcare services are provided.