What are the drivers of Poland’s healthcare markets?

Poland has a sturdy track record as a liberal and sound business partner, and currently holds the 6th largest economy in the European Union. From 2014 onwards, Poland has enjoyed a strong GDP growth of near to -or above- 3% annually. Forecasts predict it will continue with this performance.

Consumer spending was a principal driver for this success, facilitated through boosts frim government spending on social matters.

The government, as of 2015, has been applying more stringent business regulations and increased taxation on non-Polish dominant industries. This has impacted various sectors from energy, healthcare, banking and insurance and caused a decline in investor interest, whilst increasing the number of state-owned businesses.

Expenditure on healthcare in Poland

Polish healthcare (HC) expenditures were €25.4 bn from 2015-2016, or 6.1% of the GDP. As a percentage of GDP this expenditure is forecasted to decrease over the next 2 years, though overall expenditure will increase, due to positive forecasts of GDP growth.

About 72% of healthcare funding is provided by national and state governments. The rest comes from private sources and patient contributions.

The medtech and pharma market

The market for medical products and pharmaceuticals in Poland has increased fivefold in value over the last 12 years. Weighed down by regulatory incertitude and the limitations of the public sector’s financing, it is predicted to grow at a rate of 3.4% over the next 5 years. The private sector alone is predicted to grow at a faster rate of 5.6%.

85% of medtech needs are imported.

With the growing purchasing power of the Polish population, the private healthcare markets will see a more rapid growth rate than the public sector, due to higher subscriptions of private health insurance. Private healthcare expansion will bring with it a wide range of business opportunities in healthcare. The private sector alone was worth over 8 bn in 2013 and continues to grow.

The public sector is prioritizing the elimination of the hospital budget deficits and operational inefficiencies in its primary and secondary care provisions, before it can start making ambitious plans to buy the latest state-of-the art medtech. Nonetheless, the Polish MOH has also made it clear that there is an interest to upgrade obsolete equipment, and raise the overall standard of the infrastructure throughout the sector.

Market growth uncertainties

Several factors have affected previous forecasts:

  • Polish economic activity experienced a slow-down in exports that affected the availability of funds in the healthcare sector as well as some of the export activity.
  • EU funding was eliminated which Poland had relied on to extend grants to healthcare needs.
  • Economic instability in the surrounding countries.
  • Changes in reimbursement regulation.

The areas most affected by these factors have been:

  • Small disposable equipment
  • Diagnostics imaging equipment
  • Orthopedic appliances

Drivers

  • The restructuring of the public healthcare domain has led to an increase of ambulatory/outpatient centers and short-term facilities.
    • Diagnostic devices and related products and minimally invasive products will respectively be in demand to supply the growing demand.
  • The private sector attracts many foreign interests and investors, and it is foreseeable that this currently highly fragmented market will undergo consolidation processes.
  • Growing trend of patients purchasing medical care packages, or being offered such by their employer, which is driving up the use and consumption of medical check-ups and other services.
  • The ageing population will drive up chronic condition volumes and demand for respective care: tertiary care services, long-term care and geriatric products.

Opportunities

  • The private market is most active in outpatient care, rehabilitation, and spa/wellness care. It is also the sector with the highest growth rate and purchasing power.
  • Products that reduce hospitalization time will be received warmly, considering the (public) hospital sector’s capacity shortage and financial strains.
  • Leasing products is popular and common practice; companies able to offer such financing plans or other alternative schemes to reduce the financial load that comes with traditional product procurement would certainly find keen customers.
  • Medical tourism is showing growth rates of around 14% in and around Poland’s region.

Specific products expected to be in high demand:

  • Advanced diagnostic equipment (nuclear medicine) and diagnostic kits
  • Surgical equipment, specifically for minimally invasive interventions
  • Patient monitoring
  • Cardiovascular and oncology treatments and related devices
  • Elderly care products, for homecare to nursing homes, and from aids to orthopedics
  • Infection preventative products and safety products

 

For further quantitative and qualitative information on the Polish healthcare system and the macroeconomic climate, please look into our Business intelligence platform or order the National Landscape and Healthcare Outline of Poland – 2018 containing volumes of 984 surgical procedures in 13 specialisms.
Other licenses to our business intelligence platform depending on your needs are also available.

About Laura Weynants

Performs primary and secondary market research to create country reports at TforG. Interviews KOLs and medical sector professionals to build on TforG’s healthcare market expertise and competence networks. Complementing five years of sustainability policy and CSR communication, she now focuses on grasping key medical market trends, structures and opportunities in medical sectors worldwide. Coming from an international background of living in Germany, Spain, USA, UK and Belgium, she has gained a keen insight in international organizations and language skills to perform first hand investigations. She graduated from Sussex University Brighton, UK with a BA English Literature and Sociology and achieved a Master Degree in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in EOI Business School in Madrid, Spain.