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FOR Communication 1/2018: Yet another case of nationalization - this time at the expense of the patient. Yet another war of PiS - this time with Denmark

For PiS (The Law and Justice Party), any - real or apparent - ills that plague Polish society serve a pretext to increase the politicization of the economy. In 2013, that is before the PiS came to power, Poland was ahead of other OECD countries and the European Union in terms of state ownership. Recently, however, nothing has been done to reduce the interference of politicians in the economy. On the contrary, we are still seeing new steps towards further nationalization of enterprises. After the Bank Pekao S.A. and power plants, the time has come for the emergency medical services. The regulations provided by the draft bill, currently proceded by the Parliament, constitute a model example of regulatory expropriation. What is particularly worrying, this time the negative consequences of the actions taken by the government are accompanied by a non-transparent process of lawmaking.

  • The public finding of the health care system does not entail exclusion of services provided by non-state actors, including emergency medical services.
  • Contrary to the thesis of the former prime minister Beata Szydło, there is no evidence that "partial privatization [of emergency medical services] brought no good results." Quite the opposite, according to the Supreme Audit Office, Falck, the largest private provider of emergency medical services in Poland, ensures "the optimal level of implementation of tasks in the preparation and conduct of emergency medical services."
  • The government's proposal is based on a misdiagnosis. Moreover, the process of adopting the Act on State Emergency Medical Services provides an example of legislative pathology. First, on the same day, the Ministry of Health submitted two amendments to the Act. Later, when the so-called “major amendment” met with critical opinions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, the Ministry of Health sent a less controversial “minor amendment” to the Parliament, but at the last minute added the most important one from the major version as a self-amendment.
  • In their critical opinions, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection pointed lack of support of the project assumptions by any relevant data, non-compliance of the amendment with EU law, lack of risk analysis for compensation of entities removed from the market, and reduction of quality of services provided to patients due to the elimination of competitive pressure. Despite the fact that these opinions were not taken into account by the Ministry of Health, they apply to the amendment as it is currently debated.
  • In 1990, Poland and Denmark signed an agreement on the promotion and mutual protection of investments. Under this agreement, Falck will be able to claim compensation from the Polish state.

Full communication aviliable below in Polish. 

Contact with the author:

Marcin Zieliński, economist
e-mail: marcin.zielinski@for.org.pl


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