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Polish doctors declare healthcare emergency ahead of election



(dpa/NAN) Poland’s medical associations declared a “national healthcare emergency” on Monday, demanding a non-partisan solution to the shortcomings of the country’s healthcare system as Poland gears up for a parliamentary election on Oct. 13.

“While politicians are playing political games above our heads, the situation in healthcare is deteriorating,” Lukasz Jankowski, the Head of the Regional Medical Chamber in Warsaw, said at a news conference.

His organisation, along with sister associations of doctors, pharmacists, nurses and patients, presented its demands in a manifesto to lawmakers and launched a billboard campaign, where it will draw attention to the shortcomings of the country’s healthcare system.

“Public spending on healthcare: two times lower than EU average,” reads one billboard.

“Endocrinologist: 24-month queue,” another reads.

The list of demands includes increasing healthcare spending to 6.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by end-2021 and to 9 per cent by end-2030, .

This introduce a maximum waiting time for patients, as well as ensuring enough hospital beds for geriatric patients to reach the EU average by 2024.

In February 2018, a several-month protest of resident doctors ended after the government agreed, among others things, to increase their wages and promised to increase healthcare spending to 6.0 per cent of GDP by 2024 from below five per cent at present.

However, residents plan to resume the protest in October as they feel the government is not fulfilling its end of the deal.(dpa/NAN)

Edited by Fatima Sule/Silas Nwoha