Monday, January 9 a delegation of 16 representatives of the biggest private paramedic company in Poland - FALCK Medycyna visited the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland to present a letter of protest to the Polish PM Beata Szydło. In it, they expressed their opposition against the new reform bill proposed by the Ministry of Health. They claim that according to government plans, it would bar private companies from entering the paramedic market and would negatively affect the functioning of dozens of companies across the country.
While addressing their complaints Deputy Minister of Health Marek Tombarkiewicz said that fully public paramedic services market would be able to better respond to the citizens' needs. However, protesters claim that his words lack substantial evidence and so far this kind of market research has not been conducted. They further stated that the existence of private companies does not have a negative impact on the economy, neither do they provide inferior services nor have longer reaction time or worse working conditions for its staff. - So far we do not dispose of any kind of such evidence to that effect – reiterated the protesters.
- We are Polish citizens and we want to continue working in our Polish company FALCK Medycyna. Together with our colleagues we form a professional team that has been created through years of common efforts, passion, sense of duty, team spirit and devotion for every patient. We are responsible for their life and health – said its employee Wojciech Diadia. Although he admitted the existence of certain problems that need to be addressed, he asked rhetorically: "Why destroy a system that works just fine? Who will benefit from leaving us jobless?"
Paramedics also reminded that the proposed bill was reviewed negatively by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government Legislation Center and many other physicians and experts. The project also involves the abolishing of tender contests as a method for choosing the companies responsible for providing services in a determinate area. Opponents claim that the elimination of competition between public and private bidders (which constitute 94% and 6% of the market, respectively) will adversely affect the whole market. If this happens, it will constitute a violation of the current law concerning the administration of public funds and both Polish and European Union laws regarding competitive tendering. They also added that it will lower the quality of paramedic services and endanger the safety of its clients.
The protesters form a part of the FALCK Medycyna team. The Danish firm entered the Polish market in 1993 and currently is the biggest private company in the market employing more that 3500 Polish citizens and performing services in 66 localities. It also disposes of 200 ambulances and forms an integral part of the country's comprehensive paramedic service. Each year FALCK Medycyna earns approximately 90 million zlotys that are entirely used to protect the life and health of its patients. Modern management strategies allow it to possess well equipped ambulances and regularely organize professional training courses for its staff.