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Cieszyn. The hospital wants to open a pediatric psychiatry ward, the National Health Fund has doubts. Mayor on “scandalous decision”

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The authorities of the Silesian Hospital in Cieszyn want to open a mental health clinic for children and adolescents and a psychiatric ward for young patients. The National Health Fund, however, reacts to the idea without enthusiasm, although the facilities in the region are overcrowded. – What are my feelings? If I said that, I would go to the courts later – this is how the outraged Cieszyn starost, Mieczysław Szczurek, refers to the case.

In Cieszyn – according to the plans and assumptions of the authorities of the local hospital – a second-level ward would be opened. It would have beds for patients and provide 24-hour care. It should be noted that the first degree branch in Cieszyn is already here. However, the situation of children’s psychiatry is so difficult that the hospital authorities did not expect such a cool reception of the idea National health Fund.

The hospital emphasizes that since February, documents have been exchanged with the Katowice branch of the National Health Fund and the fund’s headquarters. Interestingly, the position raised in them is not consistent – the Katowice branch, as our reporter established, did not see the need to create a new branch, indicating that the region is already adequately secured with facilities providing mental health services for children and adolescents. In turn, the head office of the National Health Fund a few weeks later decided that a branch would be useful, but funding for its creation had to be suspended due to changing regulations.

So the investment was on hold. It is so worrying that the branch currently operating in Bielsko-Biała is currently taking care of patients from four districts with half a million inhabitants, reports Jerzy Korczyński, TVN24 reporter dealing with the case.

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So that you don’t have to wait, because it’s not always possible

The ward in Bielsko-Biała has 30 beds. It’s almost always full. You have to wait almost half a year for a place. And – as the statistics show – sometimes you just can’t wait.

– In 2021, 1,500 young people tried to take their own lives. Last year there were about 2,000 of them. This is a very visible increase – reports Jerzy Korczyński.

Here you can find help in emotionally difficult situations. List of phone numbers >>>

No wonder that the NHF’s doubts about the need for a new branch evoke a lot of emotions. Mieczysław Szczurek, the staroste of Cieszyn, speaks directly about the “scandal”.

Very difficult condition of child psychiatry in PolandTVN24

– The situation after the pandemic is very difficult. Children and young people need help. The clinic already operating in our country works great, it needs to be developed – says the starost. He points out that the poviat cannot finance the branch, only the National Health Fund can do it.

Mieczysław Szczurek in an interview with TVN24 emphasizes that the director of the hospital in Cieszyn can count on the full support of the local government in the fight to open a branch.

Rafał Razik, spokesman for the Silesian branch of the National Health Fund, says in front of the TVN24 camera that the establishment of a branch in Cieszyn is not excluded.

“We are pleased with the involvement of the authorities of that hospital. However, looking at the needs in the provision of services, we must look at the situation in the entire province. Unfortunately, we still have areas where there are no outpatient clinics even at the first level of referentiality – says Razik.

When asked about the NHF’s double vote on the branch and other arguments raised by the headquarters and the provincial branch, the spokesman of the NHF in Katowice says that it could be “unfortunate”.

– We recognize the need to develop service delivery capacity in such a critical area as child and adolescent psychiatry. However, we must do it proportionately, we must take care of patients throughout the province – stressed the TVN24 interlocutor.

SOS for child and adolescent psychiatry

Experts emphasize that child psychiatry in Poland is in a dramatic state. On Sunday through the capital for the seventh time passed the Yellow Ribbon March. Its participants demand improvement in this area.

– Most of our postulates concern the problems of psychiatry of children and adolescents – noted in an interview with PAP the president of the eFkropka foundation, community therapist of the Polish Psychiatric Association and psychotherapist Jerzy Kłoskowski. – There are no prevention programs in schools, there are no psychologists there, there are no child psychiatrists and little is being done about it, and the kids are overworked with learning because the school curriculum is overloaded – he explained.

Interview with the organizer of the Yellow Ribbon March

Interview with the organizer of the Yellow Ribbon MarchTVN24

Insufficient financial outlays

As Jerzy Kłoskowski emphasizes, in recent years the number of people seeking psychiatrists or psychotherapists has increased significantly. – People are less resistant, they start talking about it more and more and more people want to use this form of help, sometimes even prophylactically – he noted.

In his opinion, among adolescents, the most problems are related to relationships with peers. “Kids are very vulnerable to hate, their social life is often reduced to smartphones, and this leads to interpersonal problems,” he noted.

According to the expert, there are insufficient funds for the development of child psychiatry in Poland, which leads to staff shortages. “Psychiatrists and psychotherapists are gaining experience and leaving for private centers,” he noted.

Kłoskowski admitted that the condition of outpatient care had improved in Poland. – About 300 community mental health centers for children and youth have been established. Most often, however, there are no doctors on duty in them, and pharmacological intervention is sometimes very necessary – he explained.

The crisis in Polish child psychiatry is deepening

The crisis in Polish child psychiatry is deepeningThey don’t even bother to look for delicate terms. They talk about the drama and collapse of child psychiatry. Local governments, foundations and associations – it is mainly on their shoulders that the burden of organizing support for the youngest in crisis rests. Needs are growing exponentially. Tomasz Pupiec | Facts in the afternoon TVN24

More branches are closing

He noted that he had to wait months to see a child psychiatrist. – If it is necessary to place a child in a psychiatric hospital, and such situations are extremely dangerous, because it is usually about depression and suicide attempts, it turns out that there are simply no places. It happens that children requiring hospitalization are referred to adult wards. This shouldn’t be happening, he said.

The psychotherapist reminded that in Poland, successive wards of psychiatry for children and adolescents are still closing, and no new ones are being created in their place. He pointed out that the biggest problem is the insufficient number of child psychiatrists. – There are only 400 of them in Poland – he said.

If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here is a list of organizations offering professional help. In a life-threatening situation, call 997 or 112.

The Silesian Hospital in Cieszyn wants to open a psychiatry ward for children and adolescents.

Main photo source: TVN24

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