Changes in Basic Healthcare (POZ) – doctors and patients have more freedom. A talk with Paweł Zuk PhD, President at the Medical and Diagnosis Centre in Siedlce

Changes in Basic Healthcare (POZ) – doctors and patients have more freedom. A talk with Paweł Zuk PhD, President at the Medical and Diagnosis Centre in Siedlce

What are the basic objectives of reform of POZ?

First of all, we have to consider patients with chronic illnesses. The objective of the reform is that these patients will be guided every step of the way through basic healthcare, and not just transferred to a given specialist, as is the tendency currently. There are many illnesses such as diabetes, that can be overseen by a POZ doctor. It’s the family physician that is responsible for diagnosis. However, if the doctor doesn’t feel he can help the patient along by himself, then he should consult a specialist in the given field, to make the process of healing the patient as smooth and efficient as possible.

An expanded list of medical diagnosis, which within the proposed POZ reform will allow the family doctor to recommend to the patient, should put smiles on many faces….

That’s true, you will find on this list of i.e. examinations such as, a test that quickly detects the streptococcal antigen, tests for anti-CCP antibodies to identify rheumatoid arthritis and antibodies to fight off the Hepatitis C virus on the liver, quick tests (CPR – quick, quantitative test for kids up to 6 years of age and strep-tests), testing level of vitamin B12, H. pylori antigen in feces, fine needle biopsy and many others. Apart from that, the POZ doctor may recommend the patient to have a tomography of the chest cavity done, but there is one condition: a radiological x-ray shot of the chest cavity done prior will expose abnormalities that will require further diagnosis.

Changes dealing with care for patients with chronic illnesses lead to implementing coordinated care.

Coordinated care on an expanded level, according to assumed reforms, will be realized starting October 1st and will encompass those patients with most common civilizational illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, the chronic heart ischemia, hypothyroidism, asthma or COPD. Apart from the expanded examination package the patient will also receive the opportunity to consult a given specialist, for example a diabetologist or cardiologist. The POZ is supposed to be the element that manages a patients path to wellbeing.

This reform generates mixed feelings. You hear that it carries the signs of an experiment rather than a well thought out and thoroughly discussed idea between many circles to improve the functionality of POZ…

It is a very big challenge – for sure. You can say that it’s the first big reform of POZ from its inception in the 1990’s. This reform is going head on with the changing demographic trends, patients renewed expectations and a demand for effective financing of healthcare. It demands a reform in work organization formula, there is added pressure to work in teams, shared responsibility and leaning on tangible indicators. Also the patient-medical expert relationship will have to be redefined as well. In this new model, the patient will have to take more responsibility for their own health and for appropriate cooperation necessary, with the help of a coordinator. To summarize – there really are a lot of challenges ahead. To conclude, I will quote Winston Churchill: “Mind-set is a small detail, which makes a huge difference”.

Paweł Zuk – a specialist in the field of internal diseases and cardiology. He is a co-founder and for 22 years the president of Centrum Medyczno-Diagnostyczny sp.z o.o. (CMD). He measures medical activity and organizes benefits based on effectiveness. He actively participates in the work of the teams at the Ministry of Health and the National Health Fund preparing POZ PLUS and KONS programs. He worked as a World Bank expert in advising POZ organization for the Russian Federation (2016 and 2017) and for the city of Grudziądz (2019). He has been cooperating with the European Commission as a SANTE expert since 2017. He is a member of the Polish Society of Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology and the international advisory committees of EURIPA and EPCCS. From June 2019, the president of EURIPA Poland. He is the vice president of the board of the Eastern Chamber of Commerce. He was chosen the Manager of the Year 2018 of private medical entities in the competition organized by Termedia publishing house.

Last Updated on October 27, 2022 by Anastazja Lach