According to the latest report published by research and consulting company PMR, entitled “Private healthcare market in Poland 2012. Development forecasts for 2012-2014” in 2011 the private healthcare market grew by about 7% to PLN 30.8bn (€7.5bn). This market in the report consists of payments for drugs and medical equipment directly from patients’ pockets, cost of rehabilitation, diagnostic tests and medical appointments covered directly from patients’ pockets, subscriptions offered by medical companies together with occupational healthcare services, health insurance offered by insurance companies, undocumented transactions (the grey economy) and other payments covered directly by patients.
Market expected to double in 2014
According to PMR data, an 2011 the market growth rate exceeded that of 2010, when the figure was 3.5%, but the 2011 rate fell short of those of the years 2007-2009, which was the best period for the development of private healthcare. Between 2012 and 2014, according to PMR forecasts, the market will grow at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of about 5%. “The growth rate will remain at a similar level every year, reaching its highest point, as a result of the gradual improvement in the general economic situation, in 2014, when market value is expected to be close to PLN 36bn (€9bn), almost double the 2005 figure” says Agnieszka Skonieczna, PMR Senior Pharmaceutical Market Analyst and the author of the report.
The breakdown of private spending on healthcare in Poland has remained almost unchanged in the past few years. Spending on medicines and medical equipment account for the most substantial proportion (58%) of private spending on healthcare. Because growth exceeds that in other market areas, the share of medical subscriptions and health insurance as a proportion of the market grew by 1 p.p. for each subgroup in 2011 (in comparison with 2010).
Companies in search of funding on the stock exchange
In 2011 and at the beginning of 2012 several private healthcare companies began to trade on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) or NewConnect. These include Dom Lekarski, Swissmed Prywatny Serwis Medyczny, IQ Medica, Enel-Med, PCZ Polski Holding Medyczny, Scanmed Multimedis, Indexmedica and Voxel.
For example, in the case of IQ Medica, the proceeds will be used for the development of IQ Medica’s activities, which will include the launch of inpatient services in the fields of plastic surgery, orthopaedic medicine, laryngology and gynaecology. Enel-Med will invest some of the funds raised in a new hospital and a chain of multi-profile clinics and imaging diagnostic facilities. As a result of its debut, Voxel has begun the production of radiopharmaceuticals and launched a CT and MRI diagnostic centre in Krakow. It also intends to increase the number of its establishments.
Further stock exchange debuts are planned for 2012. In February this year the executive board of PCZ decided to transfer all of its NewConnect shares to the WSE. The debut is to take place by the end of 2012. Scanmed Multimedis, which is listed on NewConnect at present, is to be transferred to the WSE. The debut of the Carolina Medical Center, which is controlled by the Medicover Group, is also planned.
Changes in VAT on medical services
For many years private medical companies in Poland have demanded changes in value added tax on medical services. Until the end of 2010, all healthcare services, with the exception of those in the veterinary arena, were exempt from VAT. The tax exemption for healthcare services was redefined in an amendment to the law on value added tax which took effect in 2011. The new law states that an exemption from VAT applies only to those services which are prophylactic and are aimed at preserving, saving, regaining and improving the patient’s health (the purpose, rather than the nature, of a healthcare service is now considered crucial).
For example, if a blood test is carried out as part of a patient’s treatment, it will be exempt from VAT. However, if the blood test is carried out to, for example, determine the patient’s blood alcohol content, the service will be subject to VAT at a rate of 23%. The removal of a pigmented nevus for medical reasons will not be subject to VAT, but the cost of the same service provided for cosmetic purposes will be increased by the 23% VAT. Value added tax has also been imposed on cosmetic medicine and dental services, court expert medical examinations and disability pensions. However, there are doubts about the interpretation of the law in the case of certain healthcare services, including palliative care services and the provision of care at sports events.
This press release is based on information contained in the latest PMR report entitled “Private healthcare market in Poland 2012. Development forecasts for 2012-2014”
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