Among OECD countries, Poland is below average in many health areas. The latest report shows that we live shorter lives, sometimes we go to hospital unnecessarily, we often overuse antibiotics and we do not do enough tests and preventive measures.
The OECD report shows that only half of Poles are satisfied with access to high-quality health care, which is well below the average in OECD countries. We are dissatisfied because we pay a lot for modern medicines and have to wait a long time to see a doctor and undergo tests.
– I can’t get in in case of an emergency – says one of the patients. – And I had an offer for August 2025 – adds another one.
Life expectancy in Poland is shorter than in OECD countries by as much as five years. Every year in Poland, over 130,000 deaths are so-called preventable deaths – this is a result worse than the average of OECD countries by more than a quarter.
In Poland, on average, per 100,000 inhabitants, as many as 73 people die due to air pollution with suspended dust. The average in civilized countries is much lower: 23 people per 100,000. inhabitants. – This is not a surprising situation, because it has been like this for more or less a decade, since Polish society has been interested in this problem. We started to pay attention to the fact that pollution levels in Poland are very high – points out Jakub Jędrak from the Polish Smog Alert.
Our lives are shorter also because in Poland, despite the increase in expenditure, too few funds are allocated to health care – on average three thousand dollars per person. The average in OECD countries is almost five thousand dollars.
“Education is very important”
The report also shows that Poles overuse antibiotics and use preventive tests less often. In OECD countries, over half of women have undergone mammography in the last two years. In Poland, only one third. – Women’s lack of mammography is partly due to fear, but also to ignorance. I think it is very important to educate and say that cancer detected early can be cured – emphasizes Dr. Joanna Kufel-Grabowska, a clinical specialist from the Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy of the Medical University of Gdańsk.
In addition, we have a system based on hospitals, and not on primary and outpatient health care – this is also clear from published data.
– Such an international report, which is devoid of any political overtones, should constitute the basic material for analysis for the new Minister of Health and his team – says Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski, pediatrician, expert of the Supreme Medical Council for Epidemic Threats.
Eliminating these differences between Poland and other countries will bring specific health effects.
Main photo source: Fakty TVN