IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Out-of-pocket payments on health in Poland: Size, tendency and willingness to pay


  • Stanisława Golinowska

    () (Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum Department of Health Economics and Social Security, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences Kraków Poland.)

  • Marzena Tambor

    (Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum Department of Health Economics and Social Security, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences Kraków Poland.
    Maastricht University Department of Health Services Research, CAPHRI; Maastricht University Medical Center, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences Maastricht The Netherlands)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stanisława Golinowska & Marzena Tambor, 2012. "Out-of-pocket payments on health in Poland: Size, tendency and willingness to pay," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 34(2), pages 253-271, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:253-271
    Note: The study is financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, Theme 8 Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities, Project ASSPRO CEE 2007 (Grant Agreement no. 217431). The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission or its services.

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: subscription

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Danyliv, Andriy & Groot, Wim & Gryga, Irena & Pavlova, Milena, 2014. "Willingness and ability to pay for physician services in six Central and Eastern European countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 72-82.

    More about this item


    out-of-pocket payment; informal patient payments; willingness to pay; Poland;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:253-271. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vajda, Lőrinc). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.