Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Poland is the largest country in central Europe. During the Second World War (WWII) Poland lost 39% of its physicians. After WWII, Poland fell under Soviet influence. Socialist parties dominated its government until 1989. Poland was the first country from the Soviet block to adopt economic reforms and turn away from centrally planned system.

Poland is presently a stable democracy with a growing economy, and was accepted to the European Union as a full –fledged member in May 2004. Startling results of the population perception of national healthcare system were published in 2013. Polish customers rated current system poorly, giving it 2.8 points on 10-point scale.

The purpose of this research was to investigate how Polish citizens perceive their NEW healthcare system compared to OLD healthcare system pre-1990. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews conducted with customers of the NEW healthcare system who also used the system during communist times.

OLD healthcare system was defined as taking care of all healthcare issues pre-1990. The NEW healthcare system was defined as system that provided healthcare benefits to the general population post-1990.

The research was conducted through face-to-face audio-recorded interviews conducted after Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. No personally identifiable information was collected. Participants included customers and medical providers who used both OLD and NEW healthcare systems. Interviews were conducted in Polish. Interview recordings were transcribed, translated and subjected to qualitative content analysis. Results indicated that the perceptions of interviewees did not entirely reflect the true situation of the NEW healthcare system.

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Puchta_CE_POSTER.pdf (86 kB)

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