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vol. 53
Original paper

Supply and demand for long-term care services from the perspective of leaders of health care institutions

Filip Raciborski
Bolesław Samoliński

Reumatologia 2015; 53, 5: 252–259
Online publish date: 2015/12/08
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Introduction: Poland’s transition into the stage of intensive population aging imposes changes in demand for different forms of care (including long-term). The proportion of dependent persons (requiring care) in the population continues to increase. The number of people aged 80 and above (in 2013 – 1.48 million) will double by 2050 and reach 3.54 million. The research objective was to gain knowledge on the supply and demand of different institutionalized forms of care services from the healthcare system perspective.

Material and methods: A computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) survey was carried out on a Poland-wide quota sample of health care and nursing centres operating within the healthcare system. The respondent group consisted of 96 directors of health care facilities.

Results: In the opinion of more than a half of surveyed directors, supply of health care and nursing centres in their region is insufficient in terms of the needs of both patients and elderly people. In the context of patients, the deficit is observed primarily in health care and treatment centres, long-term nursing care and health care institutions, whereas for the elderly people the main concern is availability of nursing care, day care or social aid centres. More than half of surveyed institutions admit patients requiring care on an ongoing basis; however, in the case of health care and treatment centres more than a year-long waiting time proved to be a frequent phenomenon. In the opinion of the surveyed directors, the key factors influencing the number of available places and waiting time are insufficient financing and personnel deficit.

Conclusions: Introduction of multiple changes to the operation of the care system in Poland is necessary in order to improve its availability, effectiveness and quality. Achievement of this objective requires implementation of a cohesive and integrated system dedicated to monitoring and diagnosing both the supply and demand for different forms of care.

long-term care, survey research, population ageing

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