Janina Ochojska, MEP and founder of the Polish Humanitarian Action, and Anna Bazydło, vice-president of the Alliance of Residents, commented on the protest of health care workers in Friday’s “Facts after Facts”. Bazydło said that so far the protesters had not received an official invitation to talks from the new deputy health minister. Ochojska told about her visit to “White Town”. – These people are fighting not only for theirs. And it’s not just about salaries. It is really about the health of all of us – she argued.
On Saturday, health workers marched through the streets of Warsaw, and then created “White Town 2.0.” Near the prime minister’s office. The protesters gathered there announce that they will stay in this place until their demands are fulfilled. Among other things, they are demanding higher wages and changes to the system. They want to meet the prime minister because – as they claim – the meetings with the minister of health, Adam Niedzielski, have brought no effect. “White Town 2.0” alludes to the nurses’ protest in summer 2007.
In the face of the protest, the head of the health ministry presented on Monday a new deputy minister, Piotr Bromber, who is to be responsible for social dialogue and human resources development.
Bazydło: unofficial invitations do not interest us
– The deputy minister has not made any official contact with the protesters since Monday – informed Bazydło. As she said, the protesters actually communicate with the Ministry of Health through press conferences.
– Unofficial invitations are not what interests us. We would like to invite everyone to a public debate on the state of health protection, because this is a topic concerning the state of safety, the state of health and life. We believe that informal talks are not the way to solve this problem, she said.
On Thursday afternoon, a tripartite team meeting was held, where issues related to, inter alia, wages in health care. The Ministry of Health invited, among others, the “Solidarity” union. – We do not fully understand why “Solidarity” should participate in talks about the demands of the protest in which they do not participate. Therefore, we did not start these talks. We still demand talks with the prime minister, said Bazydło.
Ochojska about “White Town”: these people fight not only for their own
Janina Ochojska said that she recently visited “White Town”.
– These people are fighting not only for theirs. And it’s not just about salaries. It is really about the health of all of us. We, patients and citizens, should be present there because we are fighting for a common cause, argued the founder of the Polish Humanitarian Organization.
– Nurses in “White Town” told me that they were most afraid that they would make a mistake, that they would hurt the patient because of fatigue. You have to understand that every medical error causes enormous stress, these people experience enormous traumas – she explained.
“We are on the brink of a catastrophe,” said Bazydło. However, she added that “this catastrophe can be stopped.” – Experts say that each year, further ignoring this situation will only generate more and more costs, which will be absorbed by the necessary reform, because the system in the form in which it exists has no chance to function – she said.
Main photo source: TVN24