Population aging increases the need for long-term care

Population aging increases the need for long-term care

The demand for nursing and care benefits is growing due to the aging of the Polish society. Meanwhile, long-term care in Poland has been lame for years – the problem is, among others, staff shortages and too few centres. This gap is often filled by private entities – such as BetaMed, founded over 20 years ago, which was one of the first in this market segment, and today has over 90 facilities. Its president, Beata Drzazga, received on November 17 from President Andrzej Duda an individual award for a person distinguished by outstanding merits for the development of the Polish economy and entrepreneurship.

The number of elderly people is constantly growing. We have good medicine – or at least ensuring that seniors have the right medicines. On the other hand, they take better care of themselves, they know how to eat, what to do and what they should buy, provided of course they have enough money. Therefore, long-term care services are very much needed on the market – says Newseria Biznes agency Beata Drzazga, founder and president of BetaMed SA.

Polish society is one of the fastest aging in Europe. According to the data of the Central Statistical Office, every fourth Pole (24.8%) has already turned 60, and in 2050 the elderly will constitute 40.4% of the population. total population. This rapid aging of the population means that in the coming years the medical sector will face many challenges related to e.g. with a greater demand for medical services, a higher incidence of chronic diseases and the need to provide the elderly with the best possible living conditions and long-term care.

The demand for long-term care is very high. For example, we have 100 beds in a care and treatment facility, and people who apply to us under the National Health Fund have to wait for a place for about three years – says Beata Drzazga. – Nursing and care facilities are in great demand. People live longer, and they do not always have families or the family is unable to take care of this person, because young people also have to work. That is why they willingly donate to nursing and care facilities that have the quality where the patient will be taken care of.

The “Map of health needs for 2022-2026” published by the Ministry of Health shows that in 2019, only 109.8 thousand people benefited from long-term care services financed by the National Health Fund. patients. The most common diagnosis with which older patients are admitted to long-term care are: stroke (18%), Alzheimer’s disease (15%) and cardiovascular and circulatory system diseases (11%). The Polish public health care system is unable to respond to these challenges: Poland has the lowest share of people aged 65+ in long-term care among OECD countries (0.9%). This value is more than 10 times lower than the average in the 25 OECD countries (10.8%).

As Beata Drzazga points out, one of the main problems of this segment is insufficient financing from the state budget. In Poland, 0.5% of GDP is spent on long-term care. GDP, while the European average is approx. 1.6 percent

– I have known the long-term care market for over 22 years and it has not changed much. Contracts increased slightly, because all voivodeships already contract, unlike in 2000 or 2001, that there was not even this service. It’s developing, but unfortunately the price has been the same for 22 years and I regret it very much – says the founder and president of BetaMed SA.

Another problem is the shortage of staff and too few centres. Therefore, the gap is often filled by private entities. One of the first companies on this market was BetaMed.

– It really took a lot of courage to enter this market almost 22 years ago, especially since I was already working in the National Health Service – says Beata Drzazga. – My dream was a health service that would not only have a beautiful clinic, although I also believe that it is needed, not old buildings and crumbling plaster, but which would take care of sick people beautifully. I found myself in all this only because I had this passion all the time. Today, all the time, my staff comes to their work with empathy.

Over the course of two decades, BetaMed has grown to 91 branches providing long-term care services in 11 provinces. Today it is the largest company in this industry in Poland. It employs almost 3.3 thousand people. employees and medical personnel who take care of both adults and children in the clinic in Chorzów.

Last year, the market success of BetaMed was awarded as part of the 19th edition of the Economic Award of the President of the Republic of Poland. On the other hand, on November 17, its president, Beata Drzazga, received an individual award from Andrzej Duda – for a person distinguished by outstanding merits for the development of the Polish economy and entrepreneurship.

– I am very pleased because I feel as if this year I was chosen from among 38 million Poles and appreciated for all my activities – says the founder and president of BetaMed SA.

For over a year, Beata Drzazga has been the dean of the Medical Faculty of the Mining Academy in Katowice, where she lectures on communication and empathy in patient care. Above all, however, he is an entrepreneur and the president of several companies he founded – including, among others, Drzazga Clinic specializing in aesthetic medicine and laser therapy, and Dono da Scheggia fashion house.

In Miami, I opened another business – BetaNest Electronics electronics stores, because I saw what was needed on the local market – says Beata Drzazga, who divides her time between Poland and the United States. – Later, I met the honorary consul of Las Vegas, who persuaded me to cooperate on economic missions. Indeed, I began to take part in these missions, thanks to which a cooperation agreement was signed between Poland and the state of Nevada. For my commitment, I was awarded the title of Nevada’s First Business Ambassador. In Las Vegas, I built BetaMed International and for now it is a small embryo of this company, because COVID-19 has temporarily stopped its development, but we will see what will happen in the future. This year I opened another real estate company in Miami.

In addition to developing new companies and projects, Beata Drzazga also fulfills herself today as a business advisor and mentor who advises and inspires other entrepreneurs, e.g. in entrepreneurship clubs.

– I tell young people and other entrepreneurs about all this and it gives me great pleasure, because I see that inspiring people brings great results. Later, they give me feedback that thanks to me they opened companies, thanks to me they fixed something in them, and young people stop being afraid that they will not find their passion, because sometimes someone is very talented, but first they work, gain experience and only then open around 30. or 40. age. Our talents and willingness to work can surprise us in various ways – says the founder and president of BetaMed SA.