T. Holecki


4 Nutritional Education in Health Resort Institutions in the Face of Demographic and Epidemiological Changes in Poland

Authors: T. Holecki, J. Wozniak-Holecka, S. Jaruga


Spa treatment is an important area of the health care system in Poland due to the increasing needs of the population and the context of historical conditions for this form of therapy. It extends the range of financing possibilities of the outlets and increases the potential of spa services, which is very important in the context of demographic and epidemiological changes. The main advantages of spa treatment services include its relatively wide availability, low risk of side effects, good patient tolerance, long-lasting curative effect and a relatively low cost. In addition, patients should be provided with a proper diet and enable participation in health education and health promotion classes aimed at health problems consistent with the treatment profile. Challenges for global health care systems include a sharp increase in spending on benefits, dynamic development of health technologies and growing social expectations. This requires extending the competences of health resort facilities for health promotion. Within each type of health resort institutions in Poland, nutritional education services are implemented, aimed at creating and consolidating proper eating habits. Choosing the right diet can speed up recovery or become one of the methods to alleviate the symptoms of chronic diseases. During spa treatment patient learns the principles of rational nutrition and adequate dietotherapy to his diseases. The aim of the project is to assess the frequency and quality of nutritional education provided to patients in health resort facilities in a nationwide perspective. The material for the study will be data obtained as part of an in-depth interview conducted among Heads of Nutrition Departments of selected institutions. The use of nutritional education in a health resort may be an important goal of implementing the state health policy as a useful tool to reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. Recognizing nutritional education in health resort institutions as a type of full-value health service can be effective system support for health policy, including seniors, due to demographic changes currently occurring in the Polish population. Furthermore, it is necessary to increase the interest and motivation of patients to follow the recommendations of nutritional education, because it will bring tangible benefits for the long-term effects of therapy and care should be taken for the form and methodology of nutrition education implemented in health resort institutions. Finally it is necessary to construct an educational offer in terms of selected groups of patients with the highest health needs: the elderly and the disabled. In conclusion, it can be said that the system of nutritional education implemented in polish health resort institutions should be subjected to global changes and strong systemic correction.

Keywords: Public Health, Health Care System, nutritional education, spa and treatment

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3 Self-Government Health Policy Programs as a Form of Implementation of Public Health Tasks in Poland

Authors: T. Holecki, J. Wozniak-Holecka, K. Sobczyk


Development, implementation, and evaluation of the effects of health policy programs, resulting from the identified health needs and health status of residents, is the own task of all local government units in Poland. This is due to the obligation to provide access to healthcare services to all residents and the implementation of tasks in the field of health promotion based on specific legal acts. Until the end of 2016 local governments financed health policy programs only with their own funds. Currently, there are additional resources available from the public health insurance subsidising up to 80% of health policy programs costs in cities with a population under 5 thousand people and up to 40% in bigger cities. Changes in legal provisions do not translate automatically to increased involvement of local government units in the implementation of public health tasks. The main objective of the study was to assess the actual impact of the new legal regulation on financing local health policy programs on the engagement of local administration in this area of public health activity. To achieve this aim, we analyzed difference in the number of local governments developing and implementing health policy programs before and after the new law came into force. The aim of the study was also to estimate the level of expenditures incurred by self-government units and the National Health Fund to cover the costs of health policy programs. In the first stage of the project, legal acts concerning the subject of research and financial data published by the National Health Fund were analyzed. The material for the second, main stage of the study was the detailed financial data obtained from the National Health Fund and data obtained from local government units. The results present the situation in Poland in territorial terms, divided into 16 voivodships.

Keywords: Public Health, Health Care System, health policy programs, local self-governments

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2 Management in Health Education Process among Spa Resorts in Poland

Authors: T. Holecki, J. Wozniak-Holecka, P. Romaniuk


Spa facilities are being perceived as the ways of healing treatment in Poland and are guaranteed within the public financing. The universal health insurance (National Health Fund, NFZ), and the disability prevention programme held by Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) are the main sources of financing spa facilities. The dominant public payer of spa services is the NFZ. The Social Insurance Institution covers the cost of health treatment realized in spa facilities as medical rehabilitation, in the field of disability prevention. Health services delivered in the spa resorts are characterized by complexity, and the combination of various methods, typical for health prevention, education, balneotherapy, and physiotherapy. Healing with natural methods, believed to enhance the therapeutic effect, is also involved in health spa treatment. Regardless of the type of facility, each form of spa treatment includes health promotion, health education, prevention at all levels, including rehabilitation. The aim of the study was to determine the optimal organization of health education process. Its efficiency strongly depends on the type of service provider and the funding institution (NFZ vs ZUS). It results from the use of different measures of the effectiveness, the quality and the evaluation of the process being assessed by funding institutions. The methods of the study include a comparative and descriptive quantitative and qualitative analysis. In the empirical part, a questionnaire had been developed. It was then distributed among spa personnel, responsible directly for the health promotion, and among patients who are beneficiaries of health services in spa centers. The quantitative part of the study was based on interviews carried with the use of the online survey (CAWI: Computer-Assisted Web Interview), telephone survey (CATI: Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview) and a conventional questionnaire (PAPI: Paper over Pencil Interview). As a result of the conducted research, it was found that the effectiveness of health education activities in spa resort facilities in Poland is higher when the services are organized using structured tools for managerial control. This applies to formalized procedures implemented by one of the dominant payers covering costs of services (ZUS) and involves the application of health education as one of the mandatory elements of treatment, subjected to the process of control during the course of spa therapy and evaluation after it is completed.

Keywords: Health Education, Effectiveness, public health system, spa treatment

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1 Subsidying Local Health Policy Programs as a Public Management Tool in the Polish Health Care System

Authors: T. Holecki, J. Wozniak-Holecka, P. Romaniuk


Due to the highly centralized model of financing health care in Poland, local self-government rarely undertook their own initiatives in the field of public health, particularly health promotion. However, since 2017 the possibility of applying for a subsidy to health policy programs has been allowed, with the additional resources to be retrieved from the National Health Fund, which is the dominant payer in the health system. The amount of subsidy depends on the number of inhabitants in a given unit and ranges about 40% of the total cost of the program. The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of newly implemented solutions in financing health policy on the management of public finances, as well as on the activity provided by local self-government in health promotion. An effort to estimate the amount of expenses that both local governments, and the National Health Fund, spent on local health policy programs while implementing the new solutions. The research method is the analysis of financial data obtained from the National Health Fund and from local government units, as well as reports published by the Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Pricing, which holds substantive control over the health policy programs, and releases permission for their implementation. The study was based on a comparative analysis of expenditures on the implementation of health programs in Poland in years 2010-2018. The presentation of the results includes the inclusion of average annual expenditures of local government units per 1 inhabitant, the total number of positively evaluated applications and the percentage share in total expenditures of local governments (16 voivodships areas). The most essential purpose is to determine whether the assumptions of the subsidy program are working correctly in practice, and what are the real effects of introducing legislative changes into local government levels in the context of public health tasks. The assumption of the study was that the use of a new motivation tool in the field of public management would result in multiplication of resources invested in the provision of health policy programs. Preliminary conclusions show that financial expenditures changed significantly after the introduction of public funding at the level of 40%, obtaining an increase in funding from own funds of local governments at the level of 80 to 90%.

Keywords: Public Health Management, Health Care System, health policy programs, local self-governments

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