The amendment to the law on health benefits will not enter into force until 2014
An amendment to the law on health services was to enter into force on October 25, but it will probably only come into force in March 2014. Its aim is to introduce changes regarding the use of healthcare abroad.
The lack of implementation of the amendment in 2013 is caused by delays in the preparation of the draft by the Ministry of Health.Patients treated abroad will not be able to reimburse treatment until then.
According to the statement of Ms Zofia Wilczyńska, director of the Świętokrzyskie branch of the National Health Fund, until the implementation of the draft law, the National Health Fund will not be able to cover the costs of treating Poles staying abroad
Krzysztof Łanda, president of the Watch Health Care Foundation, has a different opinion. He has legal expertise, indicating the primacy of EU law over the law of individual EU countries. Therefore, he believes that negligence on the part of the Ministry of Health cannot exclude the reimbursement of treatment for Polish patients abroad.
However, Wilczyńska claims that the provisions of the cross-border directive are formulated in an unclear manner, so it is possible to clarify each of the Member States in the national law.
If the provisions enter into force, patients will be able to apply for reimbursement of treatment costs in other EU countries only in situations where they relate to services guaranteed in Poland. The reimbursement amount will be the equivalent of the amount that the beneficiaries receive from the National Health Fund for similar treatment in the country.
The European Union wanted Member States to bring their national laws into line with the cross-border healthcare directive by 25 October. Therefore, it forces Poland to implement new regulations.