News - 9 September 2021

KOS-BAR obesity treatment programme gets underway

The pilot programme KOS-BAR is aimed at patients struggling with morbid obesity and will be implemented in 15 medical centres in Poland. Thanks to the programme, patients will have the chance to receive comprehensive medical care under the guidance of specialists with experience in bariatric and metabolic surgery.


The regulation of the Minister of Health concerning the pilot programme KOS-BAR for comprehensive specialist care for patients treated for morbid obesity became effective on 4 September 2021. Fifteen centres, most of which are public facilities, will be responsible for implementing the programme. One of the facilities is also the Regional Health Centre in Lubin, which belongs to the EMC Group.


The facilities that were selected for the programme had to meet several criteria. The condition was to perform at least 130 surgical procedures for the treatment of obesity in a given facility in 2019. Importantly, the procedures had to be performed using at least two techniques.


At the centres, patients will be able to benefit from the experience of doctors in bariatric and metabolic surgery. The programme includes diagnosis, preoperative care, an individualised treatment plan, qualification for bariatric surgery and surgical treatment, as well as 12-month post-procedure monitoring of the patient’s condition. The project stipulates that the first consultation should take place within 30 days of the patient’s admission to the programme. Those qualified for KOS-BAR will receive clinical and psychological support, and the model of care will additionally include consultations with a psychologist and dietician. A multi-specialist team will oversee the patient’s treatment cycle to ensure safety during the weight loss process in both early and long-term post-surgical periods. Thanks to the centralised and multidisciplinary care provided in a single facility, specialists will be able to coordinate each stage of treatment and monitor the therapeutic process.

Who can qualify for the programme?

According to the National Health Fund (NFZ), in Poland, about 300,000 people are struggling with obesity, whose body mass index (BMI) is over 40 kg/m2. More than 1.5 million Poles have a BMI of over 35 kg/m2, which is associated with obesity of the second degree. Adult patients who have a body mass index greater than or equal to 40 kg/m2 or those with a BMI between 35 kg/m2 and 40 kg/m2, in whom surgical weight reduction may provide potential improvement in obesity-related diseases, may qualify for the KOS-BAR programme.


Contraindications to taking part in the programme include cancer, incurable conditions leading to cachexia, Cushing’s syndrome, pregnancy, and poorly controlled psychiatric disorders.


The KOS-BAR programme is expected to last two years and will benefit almost 3,000 people. It is planned that the cost of the pilot project will amount to over PLN 70m, and the funds will come from the so-called sugar tax.

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Agnieszka Skonieczna

Market Analysis Director