Krakow’s first fully commercial hospital began its work at the beginning of the year. It employs the best doctors and surgeons ? but prices for the patients are high.
The uniqueness of St. Raphael’s, at ul. Bochenska 1 in Piaski Nowe area in the southern part of Krakow, is that it is not contracted to cooperate with NFZ (National Health Fund), an institution that is contracted to pay the hospitals from the social health security.
Thus, services are paid for not by the state, as in regular hospitals (or even other private ones), but totally from the patients’ own pocket or private health insurance.
According to Elzbieta Ptak, medical director of St. Raphael’s Hospital, NFZ’s payment schedule is insufficient to cover the quality of service the hospital wants to offer to both the employees and the patients.
The hospital wants to specialize in orthopedics, general and plastic surgery, urology, gynecology and otolaryngology, and to become a serious training center for Krakow’s medical environment.
For about 5,000-6,000 zloty patients can have a full service accommodation plus an operation, performed by medical big names of Krakow. St. Raphael’s is also recruiting among those specialists who have emigrated to the west of Europe and gained their experience there. They’re offered wages and working conditions similar to those in Europe, with appropriate money and time for their own professional development.
Specialists in Poland previously earned too little in comparison to the huge amount of work performed (even 200 consultations a month), and sometimes their professional careers might have been blocked by senior doctors.
According to an independent medical expert and member of the Health Care Managers’ Society Adam Kruszewski, St. Raphael’s is a bold enterprise, as the prices may discourage potential patients (from approx. 50 zloty per single visit, approx. 200 zloty for a detailed laboratory test to a few thousand zlotys for an operation, depending on its complexity).
However, director Elzbieta Ptak said medical appointments for January are filled and that the price doesn’t seem to be an obstacle – patients use the possibility of taking a loan in a bank that cooperates with the hospital.
Temporarily, St. Raphael’s uses the facilities of Scanmed medical company, a new shareholder of the hospital. In the new building, temporarily renovated until completion in June, there will be room for 100 beds, four operating theaters, including one audiovisual, analytic and diagnostic laboratories and many other facilities.
The first 50 mln zloty was given by “Progress” Investment Fund, the owner of Scanmed. The investor believes the enterprise will pay for itself. According to Grzegorz Golec, the president of “Progress,” a 75 percent return of the investment is expected as Scanmed enters the stock exchange.