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  • 1 Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum Department of Health Economics and Social Security, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences Kraków Poland
  • 2 Maastricht University Department of Health Services Research, CAPHRI; Maastricht University Medical Center, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences Maastricht The Netherlands
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In Poland, the low level of health care financing from public funds is becoming increasingly voiced and accepted as an argument not only for increasing health insurance contributions, but also for extending the scope of private funding. The objective of this paper is to analyze the level and structure of out-of-pocket expenditure in Poland as well as health care consumer characteristics influencing payments for health care and willingness to pay. The analysis relies on two main sources of micro data: the household budget surveys of the Central Statistical Office of Poland and a representative survey carried out in Poland in 2010. The results indicate that in the structure of out-of-pocket expenditure, spending on pharmaceuticals dominates (up to 80% of total out-of-pocket expenditure on health). The out-of-pocket expenditure on services most often refers to paying for out-patient specialists’ services, rehabilitation services and dental care, often in the private sector. Out-of-pocket expenditures are highest among population groups with high health needs (elderly, disabled, chronically ill) but also among individuals with high income. Polish consumers do not object to co-payments for health services with good quality and quick access. Greater stated willingness to pay characterizes younger people, those with higher income and better health.

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