Poland / Appellate Court, Wrocław / I ACa 1337/11 Payment for performance of extra-contractual medical services in emergency situations

Key facts of the case:

On 31 December 2008, the parties signed a contract for medical services for an amount of 11.242.215 PLN. The contract was altered several times. The claimant had to perform 1/12 of the yearly limit of services every month for which the defendant was to pay equivalent 1/12 of the full contract sum. However, the claimant sometimes justifiably exceeded the number of contracted services. On 1 October 2009, the parties singed an annex to the contract encompassing the period from 1 January 2009 to 30 September 2009 which established the value of servises at 8.508.536 PLN. On 1 October 2009, the parties siged another contract for medical services encompassing a period from 1 October 2009 to 31 December 2009 worth 2.811.138 PLN. The contract was altered several times. The claimant performed medical services at a pediatric ward to which it admits solely those patients whose life or health are at risk. Among 148 patients admitted to this ward, the life or health of 144 was at risk. Among 43 patients admitted to the obstetrics and gynecology ward, 35 demanded immediate treatment due to the risk for their life or health. The claimant sued the defendant for payment for extra-contractual medical services performed in emergency situations which demand immediate intervantion because the patient’s life or health were at risk. The Regional Court, the court of first instance in this case, ruled that the defendant should pay the claimant 304.470 PLN for the performance of extra-contractual medical services in emergency situations (at the pediatric and obstetrics and gynecology wards). It also ruled that the defendant pay the costs of proceedings. The case was dismissed in part due to the withdrawal of the claim. The defendant appealed the case. It asked the court of second instance to repeal the judgment and dismiss the case or send it for re-examination, providing guidelines. In the appeal, the defendant claimed, among others, that the Regional Court failed to take into account the settlement that both parties had reached on the matter and that the claimant was not reporting and accounting for the medical services provided in emergency situations in the right way. The second instance court accepted the facts established by the Regional Court and added its own findings. It found that on 22, 24 and 26 February 2010, the parties reached settlements establishing the price of extra-contractual services.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

While adopting Article 68 paragraph 1 and 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the legislator guaranteed the right of everyone to have his health protected, and provided all citizens of the Republic of Poland with equal access to health care services financed from public funds. Protection of health is also guaranteed in Article 12 par. 1 and art. 12 par. 2 d of the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 35 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 11 of the European Social Charter. The right to the protection of health is one of the forms in which the state protects the highest value which is life, which is protected in Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, Article 2 par. 1 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Article 6 par. 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 2 par. 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Deciding body (original language): 
Sąd Apelacyjny we Wrocławiu
Language: 
Polish