Health needs as a priority of local authorities in Poland based on the example of implementation of health policy cancer programmes
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Submission date: 2016-06-10
Final revision date: 2016-07-16
Acceptance date: 2016-08-01
Online publication date: 2016-09-12
Publication date: 2018-10-31
Arch Med Sci 2018;14(6):1439–1449
In developed countries, malignant tumours are the second most common cause of death after cardiovascular diseases. The estimates made by epidemiologists indicate that the incidence and death rate for malignant tumours all over the world, Poland included, will probably grow in the decades to come, specifically among patients who are over 65. The aim of the study was to evaluate how local government units address the health needs of citizens on the basis of an analysis of health policy programmes concerning malignant tumours completed in Poland in 2009–2014.

Material and methods:
The study was based on desk research. The data included in the annual reports submitted to the Minister of Health concerning completed health policy programmes were used.

The most programmes were completed in the Wielkopolskie and the Mazowieckie voivodeships, whereas the fewest were completed in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie and the Podlaskie voivodeships (2(15) = 2121.81, p < 0.001). The most programmes were completed by municipalities, followed by counties and, finally, self-governed voivodeships (Q(2) = 1967.90, p < 0.061). The majority of programmes concerned breast cancer and cervical cancer. There was no increase in the activity of local government units in terms of the number of implemented programmes, and a decreasing size of the population covered by the programmes.

There is a very high degree of differentiation in the involvement of particular voivodeships in fighting cancer regarding the number of implemented health programmes. There are various degrees of involvement of particular types of local government units in the implementation of programmes in the field of cancer. The repeatability of actions undertaken at the local and national level may indicate limited effectiveness of the policy to fight cancer. It is necessary to implement more programmes in the field of oncological diseases and to increase the population covered by these programmes.