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Health system in Poland one of the worst in Europe: report


kaprys 2 | 1,882
26 Dec 2017 #61
Anyone claiming the health system in Poland is fine either lies or doesn't know it.
Not enough specialists? And we won't get more. Especially after how the ministry treated the resident doctors on strike.
Or that case of a patient in her eighties who had her endoprotesis surgery planned for 2024!
terri 1 | 1,627
27 Dec 2017 #62
The problem with NFZ is that the best qualified doctors and specialists have now left. The ones that are still doing their 'training' (junior resident doctors) are only staying till they finish their specializations and they will leave Poland. The Ministry tried to get them all signed up for promise to work off so many years after finishing their training to get more money now. Their pay whilst finishing their training is 'peanuts' compared with other sectors.

People will of course say that doctors get 'envelopes' and we all know that they do, but you cannot rely on 'envelopes' as a substitute of your pay. I personally know of doctors who sign people off-sick for a consideration, have used private doctors for a prescription and home visits, and have had private treatment for a knee operation.

The situation in hospitals is dire.
The best way to survive is either not to be ill or have plenty of money to pay for your treatment.
cms 9 | 1,271
27 Dec 2017 #63
Agree with that Terri - ultimately the system will not improve until doctors feel they have good prospects. That really means more tax or a total reform of ZUS.

If you say Dirk that it is a safety net, then you are looking at this with Anglo-Saxon eyes. It is supposed to be a public health service for which all working people contribute. Probably 80 percent of people in Poland have only a few hundred zloty spare income at the end of the month at the moment - they simply don't have the option to splash out say 500 or 600 zloty for a private specialist whenever they want to save a few days wait
Jardinero 1 | 407
3 Jan 2018 #64
500 or 600 zloty for a private specialist

From my experience most specialist consultation visits are 50-150pln. But yeah, with any treatments that will quickly add up...
But the most likely alternative would be to deduct more from salaries to fund the system...
No easy way out of this one...
Dougpol1 32 | 3,153
3 Jan 2018 #65
deduct more from salaries to fund the system...

Nope. Some of us are paying too much already for what we are getting. I draw your attention to the other thread on the "health service". Fund the system from central government to 11 percent of GDP, to pay for the new wave of alchoholics that will arise from the 500 plus great giveaway.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,582
3 Jan 2018 #66
The situation in hospitals is dire.

The health system in Poland is on the verge of collapse just now.
mafketis 21 | 7,400
3 Jan 2018 #67
Not according the TVP!
Tacitus 2 | 879
3 Jan 2018 #68
As someone who doesn't live in Poland, I can obviously not claim first-hand knowledge about this topic. However I do know that a large number of Polish doctors have migrated to Germany because of better working conditions which not only includes wages.

Which is of course great for Germany, but surely not for Poland. So Polish officials should think about how to stop this trend, and claiming that everything is "fine" is surely the worst way to proceed.
Jamaj - | 10
3 Jan 2018 #69
Polish health care is bad. Many Polish come to my town for healthcare because queues are shorter and doctors are better in Czech.
Jardinero 1 | 407
3 Jan 2018 #70
As someone who doesn't live in Poland

Well, I do and a member of my family happens to work in a hospital...

The health system in Poland is on the verge of collapse just now.

It is not ideal for sure, but that would be an overstatement... Overall, it is probably improving as more $ is being pumped into it, but it cannot meet the demand and the standards of Western EU countries, not to mention the pay, development opportunities and work conditions offered there to attract all medical professionals away from PL (but also RO, GR, CZ, etc...).

But this is not to say that say the NHS in the UK is doing that much better (massive mismanagement issues, etc) - and probably the same goes for many other Western EU countries. The general trent seems to be to attract medical staff from the East - so say India/Pakistan for UK, and so I would imagine we will see Belarusian and Ukrainian medical staff in PL more often in the coming years...

a large number of Polish doctors have migrated to Germany

True, and also to Scandinavia & UK...
Dougpol1 32 | 3,153
3 Jan 2018 #71
a member of my family happens to work in a hospital...

So would you care to comment on the beds for cash scandal then Jardinero? Nobody has taken me up on the debate yet. This is the archaic system where patients are deliberately admitted to hospital for tests just to fill the beds, and not because of the seriousness of their condition, so that the NFZ can claim for costs.
Wulkan - | 3,251
4 Jan 2018 #72
Nobody has taken me up on the debate yet.

Debating closed minded individual is not worth anybody's time here. There is no evidence of this practice anyway and sources of tabloids like GW don't count for obvious reasons.
Dougpol1 32 | 3,153
4 Jan 2018 #73
no evidence of this practice anyway

Really?
Jardinero 1 | 407
4 Jan 2018 #74
It is no secret the NFZ is a mess and needs a proper reform from the very top down, no doubt about it.

One major issue is that there is real control or accountability of the hospital directors and the deals they do with the heads of the disciplines when awarding lucrative contracts for private consultations and procedures in the NFZ hospitals and clinics - using NFZ equipment without any contribution/deductions... The whole arrangement seems more like the mafia as it is typically all kept between family members/friends rather than the best/competition... it is also common practice for chief hospital specialists to monopolise their specialist services and actually not allow younger competition to get their training simply out of fear that they could become their competitors. How vicious is that? But that's how short-sighted the system (or the people who are responsible for it and those who take advantage of it - I'll let you decide) here have become...

This is something I wish the media focused on more that the idle BS political news...

Yet, similar to the NHS, there are no volunteers who would be willing to take the risks and responsibility for fixing it properly... (is it even possible?)

patients are deliberately admitted to hospital for tests just to fill the beds, and not because of the seriousness of their condition, so that the NFZ can claim for costs

Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, this seems to be as common as vanilla ice cream in the States now that I think about it. How is it justified in practice? As far as I gather, since the NFZ is so overstrained/inefficient/underfunded/mismanaged, the waiting lists for specialist consultations/tests are typically so long that the medical staff seem to view it as a work-around as this way patients get access to the tests and specialist consultations, as they would otherwise have to be placed on waiting lists. So the way it is seems to be viewed by the medical staff is that it is actually a win-win situation for both: patients and hospital.
terri 1 | 1,627
4 Jan 2018 #75
Sometimes older people whose families have abandoned them simply go to the doctors to have someone to talk to, even though their condition does not require medical attention. I have seen this countless of times. Instead of changing for example their diet or moving a bit more, or meeting other people, every time they get a twinge, it's off to the doctors, instead of seeking solutions within themselves. Problem is compounded by the fact that instead of visiting a chemist or alternative medicine suppliers (herbal shops) for something, they feel that they must have the beginning of a dire medical condition which requires immediate attention.

People's attitude towards medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid trouble, or other similar drug-controlled conditions are thought of as almost one leg in the grave, and instead of continuing to live life as much as possible, within the confines of their abilities, they absolutely delight in telling everybody how they have to suffer daily and what medications they take and how much it costs.
Dougpol1 32 | 3,153
4 Jan 2018 #76
So the way it is seems to be viewed by the medical staff is that it is actually a win-win situation for both: patients and hospital.

Thanks for clearing that up for me Jardinero. So the hospital system is actually run for the benefit of the staff?
Amazing, and a wonderful excuse on behalf of the state and hospital admin to avoid paying their people properly.

the NFZ is a mess and needs a proper reform

Your cool and detailed comments suggest that the word here is not "reform" but regulation and enforcement - you make it sound like the wild west, where senior staff run the place as their own personal fiefdom.

Slap them with regulations, and if they don't conform, then apply the misdemeanours and the sack for a final solution if need be. Then bring Asian doctors in, who are actually very good at team playing.
Braveheart16 17 | 122
4 Jan 2018 #77
I think that regulation and accountability are the key words here to describe the hospital system....much like other topics in Poland, such as dangerous driving, burning coal etc.... I recently was referred to hospital by my doctor who was worried at the rate of my heart beat and blood pressure.....(I already have an irregular heart rhythm condition for which I have been taking tablets) .....I went to my local hospital in the evening and waited 2 hours to be seen...then examined and placed on a bed in the accident and emergency room....various tests were done and a nurse injected me with something....and had to wait until my heart rate and blood pressure were at a reasonable level....after about 1 hour the doctor said I could leave then prescribed some tablets to take....

My experience was not exactly reassuring but I must say the nurse was very helpful and was clearly busy with all the other patients.....The doctor didn't really seem to do a lot...and all in all I didn't feel very comfortable....when I got home my wife read up on the tablets and noticed that they should not be taken with other prescription tablets I have for my thyroid problem, and would likely cause a reaction of some sort......Naturally I wasn't too happy with this and stopped taking the tablets until I returned the following morning to see the cardiologist for the first time who turned up at some point and who asked my wife a few questions (she is Polish and I am British) and didn't look at me once during my consultation....Since then I have found another cardiologist elsewhere and he seems fine, but it is a real effort to get an appointment (or generally an instruction to turn up in the morning without a time) and there are always lots of patients waiting to see him.... This cardiologist has been professional and has generally provided a thorough approach to my problem. Since then I have had a further scan and was told that it would be best I have an operation to correct the heart beat....(electro something or other under general anaesthetic) I had this operation for the first time a few years ago and it seemed to have corrected my heart rhythm at that time.

My concern now is to find a good cardiology unit/hospital in or near to Krakow who will re-examine me and give me guidance on this operation and provide professional, thorough treatment and after care.
Jardinero 1 | 407
4 Jan 2018 #78
the hospital system is actually run for the benefit of the staff?

Well, some of the staff (the ones up in the ranks) to be precise are the ones who benefit from the bleeding system - your average resident, doc, nurse, etc. is not in the position to take advantage of it...

Slap them with regulations, and if they don't conform

Well, you make it sound as simple as making a PB& jelly sandwich, and it probably is in the West... I think Poland has not reached the level of rule of law and public trust in the highest national institutions that would enable such approach - see below for more

I think that regulation and accountability are the key words here to describe the hospital system....much like other topics in Poland, such as dangerous driving, burning coal etc...

Spot on, Braveheart. I think this is the rarely mentioned sad, sad reality I don't like about Poland... the system is broken and the people either do not believe they can fix it, or do not want to fix it... speaks volumes about the Polish society, I think.

Thanks for sharing your story - not really a pretty picture...


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