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Nowy Targ, the death of a pregnant 33-year-old in the hospital. Patient Rights Ombudsman: a number of irregularities during the stay in the facility

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A number of irregularities were found during the patient’s stay in the hospital ward in Nowy Targ, said the patient’s rights ombudsman, Bartłomiej Chmielowiec, in response to the Commissioner’s questions regarding the death of a pregnant patient in the Podhalański Specialist Hospital in Nowy Targ. In addition, she explains, the patient did not receive accessible and understandable information about her health from the medical staff.

Ministry of Health, Patient Rights Ombudsman and National health Fund on Tuesday, they sent a response to the Ombudsman regarding the death of a pregnant patient in the Podhalański Specialist Hospital in Nowy Targ.

The Ombudsman for Patients’ Rights, Bartłomiej Chmielowiec, in response to the Commissioner’s questions, indicated that on May 26, 2023, he initiated an investigation into the violation of the patient’s right to health services.

“On the basis of the collected documentation, the MPC identified a number of irregularities during the patient’s stay in the hospital ward in Nowy Targ. It indicated, among others, that adequate antibiotic therapy was not implemented on time, and due to the deteriorating health condition, proper supervision of the general and obstetric condition was not carried out and proper therapeutic procedures were not implemented at the right time. The supervision of the pregnant woman was not carried out in accordance with due diligence and in accordance with current medical knowledge” – noted Chmielowiec.

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In addition, as she explains, the patient did not receive accessible and understandable information about her health from the medical staff during her hospitalization. In particular, when she reported ailments such as fever, chills, weakness, she was not properly informed about her health condition, because at that time no health services were provided in accordance with current medical knowledge.

MPC on irregularities regarding the death of a pregnant woman

The MPC added that the patient’s medical documentation was not kept properly, in accordance with the regulations and in a reliable manner, and there was no information confirming the ongoing supervision of her health condition.

A violation of the patient’s rights to health services corresponding to the requirements of current medical knowledge, immediate provision of health services in the event of a threat to health and life, health services related to childbirth, health services provided with due diligence, information for the patient about his health, including diagnosis, proposed and possible diagnostic and treatment methods and the right to medical records.

Podhalański Specialist Hospital in Nowy Targ“Facts” TVN

In a letter to the hospital, the MPC formulated a number of recommendations and requested that the payment of compensation to the closest family of the deceased patient be considered in connection with the culpable violation of the patient’s rights. Moreover, all the evidence collected by him is to be transferred to the competent ombudsmen for professional liability and the competent law enforcement authorities.

National Health Fund: we cannot assess the decisions made by doctors

The Małopolska Branch of the National Health Fund, in response to the letter of the Ombudsman, reported that ten inspections and one checkup were carried out in the Podhalański Specialist Hospital in Nowy Targ in the years 2017-2022, but none of them concerned the field of gynecology and obstetrics.

In connection with the situation, the Director of the Control Department of the National Health Fund declared cooperation with the prosecutor’s office in the field of verification of the provision of medical staff in the wards in accordance with the regulation of the Minister of Health.

“We would like to inform you that as the National Health Fund, we cannot assess the decisions and treatment actions taken by doctors. In accordance with the applicable legal regulations, issues regarding diagnosis and treatment remain within the exclusive competence of doctors” – it was stated.

“Each doctor makes decisions regarding the diagnostic and therapeutic process autonomously. He also makes them based on current medical knowledge, taking into account the patient’s health condition, the obligation to provide services in accordance with the rules and being aware of the related legal and professional consequences. Evaluation of medical decisions may be made by separate, empowered institutions.

Kraska: control activities were ordered

Deputy Minister of Health Waldemar Kraska in response, he emphasized that in order to clarify the matter, on June 2, 2023, the head of the ministry ordered the national consultant in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, prof. Krzysztof Czajkowski carrying out control activities at the Podhalański Specialist Hospital in Nowy Targ.

Kraska also reminded that the Minister of Health, by order of June 12, 2023, appointed a Team for the development of guidelines for medical entities in the field of procedures related to the termination of pregnancy. Its tasks include the development of guidelines for medical entities in the field of procedures related to termination of pregnancy in cases of a threat to the health or life of the pregnant woman.

Minister Kraska: There was a medical error in Nowy TargTVN24

The guidelines are to contain in particular: the method of assessing and confirming the grounds for admissibility of termination of pregnancy, the grounds for the need to order additional medical consultations to determine the health condition of the pregnant woman, the method of dealing with the pregnant woman in the event of a life-threatening condition, and training materials for medical employees of gynecological and obstetrics.

“It is expected that after the completion of the team’s work – based on the prepared guidelines – training cycles will be conducted for all hospital facilities with gynecological and obstetric wards. They will be conducted by the Ombudsman for Patients’ Rights in cooperation with the National Consultant in the field of gynecology and obstetrics, who is chairman of the team,” stressed the deputy minister.

The death of 33-year-old Dorota from Nowy Targ became the cause of protests organized in many Polish cities. The protesters indicated on the importance of the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 2020 on the grounds for allowing abortion for the health care of pregnant women.

Main photo source: “Facts” TVN



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