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Andrychów. The Mental Health Center for Children and Youth is to open. The National Health Fund announces a competition and the hospital will provide psychologists

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The provincial authorities announce an imminent opening – partial, but this time seriously – and the National Health Fund will soon announce a competition for benefits. After the publication of tvn24.pl and “Fakty” TVN, the Mental Health Center for Children and Youth in Andrychów (Lesser Poland Voivodeship) has a chance to start operating quickly. Previously, a group of PiS politicians, including election candidates, grandly “opened” the facility, although it has no financing and does not accept patients. Some of the invited guests didn’t even know about it.

No one sits on colorful chairs yet, there are no drawing pads or crayons on the tables, and there are no psychiatrists or psychotherapists waiting for patients in their offices, but this is about to change soon. Mental Health Center for Children and Youth in Andrychów (Lesser Poland Voivodeship) It was grandly “opened” by PiS politicians and the hospital management, and closed immediately after the ceremony, because the center does not have funding from the National Health Fund. As a result, it does not accept patients.

Mental Health Center for Children and Youth in AndrychówTVN24

After our material, the Marshal’s Office of the Małopolska Voivodeship informed the journalist of “Fakty” TVN, Adrianna Otręba, that at the turn of March and April the center will start accepting patients, at least to some extent. And this despite the lack of a contract. – We are waiting for the National Health Fund’s response regarding the financing of services. Regardless of the date of the competition, the activities of a community treatment team for children and adolescents will be launched in the center’s buildings at the turn of March and April – said Magdalena Opyd, spokeswoman for the Marshal of Małopolska, on Thursday.

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However, the environmental treatment he is talking about is – according to information on the National Health Fund website – the first reference level. Such a team can provide care from psychotherapists and psychological advice. Psychiatrists work in facilities with a second level of reference – and this is what the Andrychów center aspires to.

Magdalena Opyd, when asked whether the turn of winter and spring she mentioned applies only to the care of psychologists and psychotherapists, did not answer directly. – Ultimately, psychiatric care will also be provided – the spokeswoman tells us, without specifying the date.

LOOK: The Mental Health Center for Children and Youth in Andrychów is not operational. There is a lack of money and staff

The National Health Fund announces a competition, the marshal’s officials will operate without a contract

Let us remind you: after the “opening” of the center, we asked the Marshal’s Office of the Małopolska Voivodeship, the management of the Provincial Psychiatric Hospital in Andrychów and National health Fund about when the center will actually start operating. Nobody could tell. What’s more, some of the invited guests – including the councilors and the MP cutting the ribbon – thought – or so they assured – that doctors and therapists would start seeing patients any day now. That didn’t happen. – I didn’t know (about it – ed.). It was obvious to us that it was supposed to work, he admitted on Thursday PiS MP Filip Kaczyński. He was, among others, at the opening of the center.

Opening of the Mental Health Center for Children and Youth in AndrychówUMWM

The hospital has not answered any questions so far – although we visited the facility twice, the director Piotr Kopijasz, privately the brother of voivodeship board member Iwona Gibas from PiS, did not want to meet with us.

Only after the publication of our text, Magdalena Opyd, spokeswoman for the voivodeship marshal Witold Kozłowski, announced that the facility would start operating at the turn of March and April. She noted that in November 2023, after completion of construction, the hospital asked the National Health Fund for funding for the center’s activities. The hospital would like to admit up to 40 patients a day.

Read also: Crisis in child and adolescent psychiatry. Expert: good prevention can be created

However, the fund was in no hurry to announce a competition that would enable the hospital to obtain funds. On February 21, Aleksandra Kwiecień, spokeswoman for the Małopolska branch of the National Health Fund, told us that there will definitely be no such competition in the near future. The only thing the Fund did not rule out was that the competition could be announced this year – after analyzes whether such a children’s center was needed in this place, because there is already a twin facility in neighboring Wadowice which – as Kwiecień assured – admits patients on an ongoing basis.

On February 22, after our material, the Małopolska National Health Fund changed its mind. – Today, the hospital confirmed its readiness to provide services (…), at the moment, analyzes are underway in the Małopolska National Health Fund and we will soon announce a competition – said Kwiecień.

Deputy Minister of Health: opening is only possible when there are doctors

The low building that houses the Andrychów Mental Health Center for Children and Youth is a former laundry. Not long ago, the facility fell into ruin, but thanks to nearly PLN 3.5 million from European Funds and the Office of the Marshal of the Małopolska Voivodeship, it was thoroughly renovated.

Mental Health Center for Children and Youth in AndrychówTVN24

Marshal’s spokeswoman Magdalena Opyd emphasizes that “the hospital did not have the opportunity to sign the contract earlier because at the turn of 2023 and 2024 the Małopolska provincial branch of the National Health Fund did not announce a competition procedure for services for children and adolescents.” – One of the conditions for obtaining financing from the National Health Fund is having the necessary premises. Therefore, it was not possible to apply for them before the completion of construction works, he explains.

However, Opyd did not answer our questions about why the provincial board with the support of PiS provincial councilors and a member of the Sejm organized the “opening” of the facility. Interestingly, after our article, the announcement about the “opening of the Mental Health Center for Children and Adolescents” changed the title to: “opening of the building of the Mental Health Center for Children and Adolescents”.

Opyd maintains that “the event that took place on February 19 in Andrychów concerned the summary of the hospital buildings reconstruction project over the last four years.” The Mental Health Center for Children and Youth was only part of the modernization.

– Opening is when there are doctors, patients, a contract with the National Health Fund and when work starts – said Deputy Minister of Health Wojciech Konieczny (Left Wing) in an interview with Adrianna Otręba in “Fakty” TVN.

Author:Bartłomiej Plewnia

Main photo source: TVN24



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