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Dziennik Gazeta Prawna: psychiatric wards for children and adolescents are overcrowded, there are not enough places

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Children and adolescents in crisis cannot count on support in psychiatric wards, writes “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”. Journalists found that in Warsaw, Toruń, Kraków, Gdańsk and Lublin, young patients are most often sent home because there are no vacancies for them. Hospital wards are overcrowded.

In the Tuesday edition of “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” informs about the results of its own journalistic findings:

“We asked the centers in Warsaw, Toruń, Kraków, Gdańsk, Lublin how many patients they could admit. The answer was one: none. Most centers are overloaded (eg the hospital in Józefów periodically treats up to 50 people, and there are 22 places)” – we read in the article.

More and more suicide attempts

“DGP” adds that the facilities refuse to do so, although several patients come to the hospital every day. The newspaper indicates that the main reasons for seeking help are thoughts of or attempted suicide. Only in three quarters of this year – we read – more than a thousand children under the age of 18 tried to take their lives – this is more than in 2020 and in pre-pandemic 2019. “The number of successful attempts is also growing. By September 92 ended in death,” the newspaper said.

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“The necessity to postpone admission is a direct threat to life, causes frustration of doctors, ethical dilemmas and fears about legal consequences” – warns Mirosław Dąbkowski, a psychiatrist from Toruń, quoted by the journal.

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Long lines to hospitals, waiting for months

The newspaper emphasizes that it also forces the discharge of patients faster, even before satisfactory improvement is achieved, because more places need places. The queue – as we read – waits for several months.

The Ministry of Health, in response to the questions asked by “DGP”, declares that it knows the difficult situation in child psychiatry and treats its improvement as a priority. The newspaper reminds that the ministry has prepared a draft of the Program to support psychiatric wards for children and adolescents for the years 2022-2023, for which PLN 80 million is to be allocated. The Ministry of Health also emphasizes that the strengthening of outpatient care – which is the main goal of the ongoing reform of psychiatry – will relieve hospitals.

Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, PAP

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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