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Legal Reforms of the Polish Health Care System in View of Accessing the European Union

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The 1980s was a decade of protracted crisis within state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe, most manifestly in Poland. Poland became the trendsetter and model for change not only during the crisis of State socialism but also afterwards, during the pre-transition crisis and breakthrough from one system to another and the first period of democratic transition. Poland, therefore, experienced both the advantages and disadvantages of being a pioneer. This is for instance the case with the health care sector.

This paper examines recent legislative changes in the Polish health care system. A descriptive analysis of the current legal framework identifies the main changes that have occurred since the dissolution of the socialist health system. Further research of, in particular, the new Health Insurance Act reveals several discrepancies with respect to its 'compatibility' with European Community law. Since adoption of the acquis communautaire is a prerequisite for accession, the author discusses a main acquis aspect related to social health insurance law, viz the implementation of Co-ordination Regulation 1408/71.

Affiliations: 1: Research Fellow Erasmus University Rotterdam. European Centre for Advanced Legal Studies in Health Care, The Netherlands


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