Public and private health care services in the opinion of physicians in Poland
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Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education, Warsaw, Poland (School of Public Health)
Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Transplantation Medicine, Nephrology and Internal Diseases)
Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Human Nutrition)
Online publication date: 2020-02-19
Corresponding author
Jarosław Pinkas   

Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education, School of Public Health, Kleczewska 61/63, 01-826 Warsaw, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2020;33(2):195-214
Objectives: Health care services in Poland are delivered by public and private providers. The aims of this study were to assess the attitudes towards private and public health care services in Poland and to identify differences between them, in the opinion of physicians. Material and Methods: A questionnaire-based survey was carried out among physicians attending mandatory courses delivered at the School of Public Health, the Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education in Warsaw, Poland. The questionnaire included 29 questions concerning private and public health care services. Results: Completed questionnaires were obtained from 502 physicians (67.7% females), aged 42.1±10.8 years, with a response rate of 77.2%. In the opinion of the surveyed doctors, the major advantages of private health care units, in comparison with public ones, are short waiting times for an appointment (88.2%), an efficient on-site service (78.6%) and convenient appointment times (75.7%). The respondents gave high scores to items such as relations with patients (p < 0.001), superiors (p < 0.001) and colleagues (p = 0.03) when working in private, rather than public, institutions. In the opinion of physicians, public health care institutions guarantee better employment conditions (44.4% vs. 13%; p < 0.001) and security (29.1% vs. 11.1%; p < 0.001) than private ones. The respondents did not observe any differences (p > 0.05) between public and private facilities in terms of the involvement of medical staff and infrastructure. There were significant differences (p < 0.001) in the perception of working conditions in public and private health care institutions depending on the medical education level and the place of primary employment. Conclusions: Among physicians in Poland, private medical institutions are perceived as better organized and granting faster as well as more comprehensive access to health care services when compared to public ones. Closing the gaps between working conditions in public and private units could encourage physicians to practice in the public health care sector. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2020;33(2):195–214
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