Although the developing healthcare system in Poland has resulted in a wide array of business opportunities, profit margins have not lived up to the optimistic forecasts of previous years.
Several factors have affected previous forecasts:
- Polish economic activity experienced a slow-down in exports that affected the availability of healthcare funds.
- The termination of the “Regional Operational Programs and Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment”, which decreased the amount of EU funding in 2014.
- Economic fluctuations in surrounding countries.
On the other hand, private healthcare expansion will bring with it a wide range of business opportunities in healthcare. The private sector alone was worth over 8 bln in 2013.
Although Poland has a strong domestic base, the capital equipment market is dominated by imports (i.e. about 83 percent of devices are imported).
Imported equipment tends to be of a more complex (and expensive) nature. Some examples are: Alpha, beta and gamma rays, radiation equipment (both ultraviolet and infrared) as well as tomography and nuclear imaging equipment.
Studies have shown that much of the capital equipment in public hospitals is outdated, out of order or unsafe. There is therefore a great need for modernization in this area.
A clear example can be seen in the use of x-rays. A recent audit of Polish hospitals showed that in many facilities, x-rays are still analogue, presenting a great opportunity for suppliers to provide digital and more modern versions.
Although the MoH is aware of the need to modernize, it remains a challenge due to lack of funds. However, it presents a great opportunity for collaboration, investment and partnership with the private sector.
Drivers for growth in the area of capital equipment include: private sector expansion, MoH emphasis on diagnostics and prevention, an increase in EU investments and reforms aimed at the commercialization of hospitals.
The imaging market alone was worth about € 250 m in 2013. Estimates show an average yearly growth of about 12 percent.
Drivers for market growth in the next few years will include:
- The ever increasing private healthcare sector
- A growing awareness on the importance of prevention and MoH policy changes to reflect this
- Increased demand from the aging population
- Healthcare reforms decentralizing the allocation of budgets to regional authorities (who can more accurately distribute funds in accordance to unmet needs).
For further information on the Polish healthcare system, please look into our TforG Business Intelligence platform offering a wide array of quantitative macroeconomic and healthcare data or our Poland TforG Deep Dive report containing 600 surgical procedures.