Medical fund bill to support specialist treatment signed into law

Duda had vowed to create a Medical Fund supporting healthcare in Poland in March and filed a bill to this effect with the Sejm, lower house, in June. Mateusz Marek/PAP

A bill setting up a medical fund to cover cancer, rare diseases and other specialist treatments was signed into law by Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday.

The fund will be allocated to modern methods of treatment and advanced drugs, with a focus on health services for children and other patients suffering from rare or cancerous diseases. Some funds will be used for modernisation and equipment, as well as for prevention programmes and health care infrastructure investment.

At a signing ceremony in the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, Duda said the Medical Fund will be "a rescue fund," as it will finance the treatment of rare diseases, particularly in the case of children suffering from cancer.

The fund will complement Poland's regular healthcare system to support patients in extraordinary situations, Duda added.

PM Mateusz Morawiecki said that the fund "opens the door to advanced treatment of cancer and rare diseases."

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski stated that the COVID-19 pandemic should not overshadow other health problems. "Oncology is slowly becoming number one problem in Poland," Niedzielski said.

"Thanks to the funds, but (...) also to the legislative solutions included in the law, we will be able to take a bold and serious step forward," he also said.

Duda vowed to create a Medical Fund supporting healthcare in Poland in March and filed a bill to this effect with the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, in June. Polish lawmakers adopted the draft law on October 7.

The fund, to be administered by the health minister, will be financed to the tune of PLN 4 billion (EUR 873 million) annually, as of 2021.