European Funds for healthcare sector---
Use of the European funds in healthcare brings tangible profits for the whole system. They enable to carry on infrastructural investments, enhance professional qualifications of medical staff as well as to implement pro-quality actions. All the projects accomplished with the use of European funds aim to support functioning of medical centers, ensuring better accessibility for patients as well as higher quality of health services. They also serve strengthening security in situation of threat to one’s life and health.
Ministry of Health is responsible for implementation of the European measures: Priority XII Health security and improving the efficiency of the healthcare system of the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment (POIiŚ), Measure 2.3 Strengthening the health potential of the working persons and quality improvement of the healthcare system functioning of the Operational Programme Human Capital (POKL) as well as measures of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EOG) and Norwegian Financial Mechanism and Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme.
The Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2007-2013, financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF), aims at increasing the investment attractiveness of Poland. Around 465.5 million EUR, including 395.72 million EUR from the ERDF, was earmarked to the implementation of measures concerning healthcare. This amount was allocated to investments with a life-saving impact as well as to investment improving quality of medical services of trans-regional healthcare institutions. More than 350 projects were supported including construction/renovation of landing grounds for helicopters, modernization of hospital rescue wards and the purchase of modern medical equipment. It is expected that approximately 75 landing grounds for rescue helicopters at hospital rescue wards, adapted to landing in difficult weather conditions and at night, will be constructed or modernized. The funds will be also used for the purchase of more than 300 well-equipped rescue ambulances, establishment of 13 Trauma Centers, reconstruction and equipping of more than 140 healthcare institutions related to emergency medical care as well as modernization and equipping of 54 trans-regional healthcare institutions.
In the area of the Operational Programme Human Capital, co-financed by the European Social Fund, more than 118.2 million EUR was assigned for projects connected with health protection. The scope of support is complex and includes such important domains as: prophylaxis – as a base of healthy society, developing knowledge and skills of medical personnel and efficient management.
The biggest part of the budget was devoted to medical personnel’s training. Projects that are being implemented allow to develop qualifications of nurses, midwives, physicians, paramedics and medical dispatchers. Another group of projects are prophylaxis projects oriented at bringing back to the labour market by improvement or preservation of health the people exposed to occupational diseases (like cancer, miner’s lung, allergies, skin diseases, infectious diseases, Lyme disease, nervous system disorders, circulatory system problems, psycho-sociological disorders).
In the Operational Programme Human Capital there are conducted training projects for health care sector personnel that are oriented to raise management quality. There are also projects that enable hospitals to obtain quality certificates. By 2015 300 hospitals will obtain support and at least 245 of them will get certificates. It is estimated that within Measure 2.3 „Strengthening the health potential of the working persons and quality improvement of the healthcare system functioning” more than 90 000 people will be trained.
The measures within Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area as well as the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 are important elements of supporting the healthcare in Poland. They enable accomplishment of the programmes aiming at improvement and better adaptation of the healthcare system to demographic-epidemiological trends and reducing social inequalities in health. The main area of activity is rendering services in prophylaxis, diagnostics and treatment in order to increase the birth rate, better adapt the healthcare system to a quickly increasing population of the chronically ill and dependent persons and the elderly as well as carrying on of prophylaxis of cancer diseases. The financial resources come from the donor countries – Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. Those countries obliged themselves to grant Poland non-returnable assistance out of which 76 million EUR was earmarked for healthcare.
A similar initiative is the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme. As part of its implementation Switzerland donated funds, from which nearly 40 million CHF was allocated to the „health” focus area. These funds support the promotion of a healthy lifestyle aimed at preventing overweight and obesity, improvement of oral health among little children, prevention of HCV infection and the prevention of addiction to stimulants such as drugs, alcohol and nicotine, particularly among women in the reproductive age. These projects are being implemented throughout the country. Funds were also granted to the projects aiming at improvement of quality of services provided in social welfare homes and care and educational centers in the following voivodeships: Świętokrzyskie, Lubelskie, Podkarpackie and Małopolskie.
For more details regarding possibility to gain financial support of the healthcare system with the European Funds visit: http://www.zdrowie.gov.pl/.