Key information about the programme
- The programme is operated by: Ministry of Health of Poland
- The Donor Programme Partner in this programme is: Norwegian Directorate of Health
- The programme funding amounts to € 40 million and is funded by the EEA and Norway Grants
- The programme’s objective is: improved prevention and reduced inequalities in health
Why is the programme needed?
The Polish health care sector faces several challenges. One is that due to emigration and decreasing birth rates, the population is ageing and in need of more services, but at the same time there is limited capacity to use innovative measures such as e-health to meet the growing needs and respond to the lack of availability of health care professionals and specialized services outside the urban areas. Public health awareness is also limited so efforts are needed to inform the Poles, especially children and young people, about the importance of positive health choices to prevent diseases and promote wellbeing.
Digitalisation of health care can optimize services by ensuring availability and efficiency of services and thereby improve the access to health care, especially in remote areas. Digital tools in the health care sector can also be used to promote a healthy lifestyle, lowering demand for services in the long-run. A major challenge in digitalising health care in Poland is the lack of IT equipment. Many doctors do not even have computers with internet connection and therefore cannot communicate effectively with specialists. This forces patients to travel long distances for treatment and contributes to excessive waiting periods.
The number of people needing treatment for mental illness in Poland is steadily rising. Community-based mental health care and digital tools for psychiatric treatment are one answer to this challenge; both to improve the general mental health of the population, to counter stigmatization and to improve access to mental health care services in remoter areas.
What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?
The main objective of the programme is to improve prevention and reduce inequalities in health. This will be done by means of two pre-defined projects. The first will tackle social inequalities in health with the use of e-health and telemedicine solutions, whereas the second will promote a healthy lifestyle for children and youth. Both projects will have a mental health component.
The project focusing on e-health and telemedicine will concentrate on the disadvantaged groups of society and geographically remote areas. Seven pilot models and standards of telemedicine (in cardiology, geriatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics, diabetology, palliative care and chronic diseases) will be developed and tested in a cooperation between regional hospitals. The project will include IT-training for doctors, nationwide awareness rising campaigns on telemedicine, mental health preventive treatment and vaccinations.
The second project aims at promoting the wellbeing and healthy lifestyle of children and youth, focusing on deprived areas. The project will have three key components:
- Nutrition and sport
- Substance abuse
- Mental health
The project includes training programmes, workshops and activities to promote healthy choices in kindergartens and nurseries, promotion of sports activities and educational materials for children and youth and their parents on mental health. Research to identify which factors contribute to tobacco use, and a nationwide anti-tobacco campaign will also be supported.
Thanks to this programme
- 20,000 people will benefit from improved telemedicine services
- 1,350 staff will be trained
- 84,000 children and youth will improve their habits
- 7 new telemedicine models will be developed
- 1 million people will be reached through awareness rising campaigns
- 25,000 children and youth will be educated on positive lifestyle choices
How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?
The programme will contribute to strengthening bilateral relations between Poland and the Donor States. Partnerships between Polish entities and the Donor countries will be encouraged at project level through matchmaking events and activities in conjunction with the launch of calls for proposals. These partnerships can result in mutually beneficial activities and long-lasting cooperation between involved partners.
Availability of funding through open calls
Funding in this programme will be made available in an open call for proposals to test the models developed in the pre-defined project on telemedicine and e-health policy. The call will be launched in first quarter of 2021 with a maximum of € 675,000 funding per project.
Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme.