Case III SA/Kr 148/10

Case file No. III SA/Kr 148/10
Download Judgment: English Polish
Country: Poland
Region: Europe
Year: 2010
Court: Wojewódzki Sąd Administracyjny w Krakowie [Voivodeship Administrative Court – Krakow]
Health Topics: Health care and health services, Health systems and financing
Human Rights: Right to health
Tags: Access to health care, Employment, Health insurance, Health regulation

The plaintiff lost his unemployed person status for three months due to his failure to appear at the Labor office on an appointed date and for not providing a reason afterwards for his missed appointment. He missed the appointment because he was confused about the appointment date. Losing his unemployment status resulted in him losing access to healthcare benefits.  The plaintiff had a referral to a doctor that he was unable to undergo due to the lack of healthcare and his financial situation.

The plaintiff appealed the decision to remove his status based on confusion about the date of the appointment and deprivation of his right to healthcare under Article 68 of the Constitution but the decision was upheld.

The Court upheld the judgment of the lower order as legal. The Court noted that the Act is clear in requiring the removal of unemployment status from anyone who misses their appointment and does not provide a justified reason. A justified reason was interpreted to be circumstances outside of the person’s control, which was not met here.

The Court rejected the argument that the constitutional article on health means that the plaintiff is entitled to healthcare. Article 68 of the constitution provided a right to health and non-discrimination based on one’s material situation, with the conditions of the benefits established by statute. As the current act doesn’t make access to healthcare conditional on one’s material situation (only on attending appointments and other criteria), there is no violation.

“Niemniej jednak wymaga tu podkreślenia, że Konstytucja deleguje warunki i zakres udzielania świadczeń finansowanych ze środków publicznych do ustawy i gwarantuje jedynie, że ustawa nie może uzależniać dostępu do świadczeń od sytuacji materialnej. Ustawa z kolei reguluje, że prawo do świadczeń mają obywatele ubezpieczeni, w tym posiadający status osoby bezrobotnej.” (p. 3)

“[I]t must be stressed here … that the Constitution delegates the conditions and the scope of providing the healthcare benefits financed from public funds to statutes and only guarantees that such statutes may not make the access to such benefits conditional upon a person’s material situation. The Act, in turn, regulates that the right to such benefits is enjoyed by insured citizens including those who have the unemployed person status.” (p. 3)

“W orzecznictwie sądów administracyjnych przyjmuje się, że uzasadnione przyczyny, to okoliczności, na które bezrobotny nie miał wpływu, a więc przeszkody powstałe niezależnie od jego woli, n.p. choroba czy brak możliwości dojazdu z powodu przerw w komunikacji publicznej. Za uzasadnione przyczyny nie uznaje się natomiast okoliczności powstałych z winy bezrobotnego, nawet tylko lekkomyślności czy niedbalstwa.” (p. 3)

“In the case law of administrative courts, it is assumed that justified reasons are circumstances which the unemployed person could not influence, hence, obstacles which arose independently of their will such as an illness or a lack of possibility to commute due to shutdowns in public transport. The circumstances which arise by fault of the unemployed person, even fi merely through their carelessness or negligence, are not deemed to be justified reasons.” (p. 3)

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