RESEARCH PAPER
Costs of provision for in-home care services for dependent persons in selected Polish cities 2015–2017 – challenges for local governments
 
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Subdepartment of Social Medicine and Public Health, Department of Social Medicine, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Paulina Zabielska   

Subdepartment of Social Medicine and Public Health, Department of Social Medicine, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland
 
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2020;26(2):164–168
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction and objective:
The provision of safety and professional care for dependent persons, including the elderly and the disabled at home, is one of the biggest challenges for health policy and social assistance. The aim of the study is to analyse the costs of care services in Poland in 2015–2017, and to identify future needs.

Material and methods:
In the research process, material from 12 out of 27 randomly-selected Polish cities with over 120,000 inhabitants was analysed in terms of the form of care services provided, i.e. care services, specialist care services as municipalities’ own tasks, and financed from the municipal budget, and specialist care services for persons with mental disorders – commissioned tasks financed from the State budget.

Results:
UOs (also called housekeeping services), are the most frequently granted form of assistance, and are most often used by persons over 80 years of age. SUOP are mainly provided to young people. In the majority of the cities in the study, the cost of care services increased every year, with the largest increase recorded in 2017.

Conclusions:
It was concluded that care services are the fundamental and least costly form of care for elderly persons at home. Despite this, growing demand in this area necessitates increased annual budgets of Polish municipalities for this purpose. The lack of nationwide standards for the provision of care services prevents specification of a detailed array of activities to be performed by carers for the environment of elderly persons. Although an increased minimum salary has a significant impact on the costs of services, their hourly settlement hinders assessment of their quality. The greater the involvement of informal carers, the lower the costs for local governments.

 
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