Health minister wants health fund chief dismissed
December 19, 2013
Poland's health minister said Wednesday he wants the head of the country’s national health fund dismissed following a row over which patients are entitled to state-funded health care.
Bartosz Ar│ukowicz, who has been heavily criticized for failing to improve Poland’s ailing public health care system, said he has asked the prime minister to dismiss Agnieszka Pachciarz, the head of the health fund. The fund pays state-run hospitals for treatment they carry out.
Ar│ukowicz said there were flaws in how the health fund carries out checks when patients apply for treatment.
He told reporters: "We can't have a situation in which officials don't properly check people who show up in the [electronic registration] system as uninsured, while at the same time the officials immediately stretch out their hands to patients or to the state for money" to cover services provided by public hospitals and surgeries.
Earlier this month, the national health fund launched legal proceedings against the health ministry, seeking about 800 million zlotys to cover the costs of treatment for patients who are entitled to care but in the electronic system show up as uninsured.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that Ar│ukowicz had until spring to come up with a detailed action plan on how to cut waiting times for medical treatment.
The opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party has put forward a parliamentary motion for Ar│ukowicz to be dismissed, accusing him of presiding over a health care system that fails patients.
The motion has little chance of succeeding. Ar│ukowicz kept his job when Tusk recently reshuffled his Cabinet.