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Long Term Care for the elderly in a country after transition. Example of Poland

2014 Conference Presentation

(Inter)national systems Poland

2 September 2014

Long Term Care for the elderly in a country after transition. Example of Poland

Czepulis-Rutkowska, Zofia-Institute of Labour and Social Studies, Poland


The objective of this intervention is to present the state of debate on LTC in Poland and the efforts to change the institutional LTC setup according to the demographic and labour market situation.

Public LTC is currently delivered via social assistance sector on the one hand and on the other hand via health care sector. The LTC in Poland is being criticized for many reasons: not enough money in the system, lack of coordination between health and social assistance sector, wrong labour market incentives, difficult access, poor quality of services and so forth. For many years now a parliamentary experts’ group is working on a law proposal on Long Term Care for the Elderly that would address some of the problems and introduce one integrated LTC system. Originally the proposal was based on the German Insurance System, later it was modified. The group has published a Green Paper on LTC in 2010.

Several high profile conferences were organized but, so far, no specific law on LTC was enacted. It seems there are several intertwined reasons for this. Other social policy segments were being reformed – the old age pension system was changed and now a radical social assistance reform is being prepared; the LTC for the elderly stakeholders are not strong enough to pursue the reform; it is difficult to indicate a LTC system that might serve as a good practice to follow. With other important social reforms almost completed now, LTC may receive more attention as the demographic (population aging and changes in the family structure) as well as labour market challenges (very low in Poland labour activity rate of 50+) are becoming more pressing. The ongoing debate and the parliamentary group work has also contributed to the growing awareness of LTC importance. Statistical data analysis as well as legal documents and literature research will be used for preparing this presentation.