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Patients do not come to their appointments en masse. So others have to wait. The problem is all over Poland

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Nearly half a million people did not come to their appointments, according to data from the National Health Fund from the first half of the year. They blocked places for others at orthopedists, cardiologists or oncologists. Because of this behavior, patients who care about visiting a doctor lose out, and clinics lose out too.

If the clinic is empty, it could be assumed that there is no problem. However, you have to wait in line for up to a year to see Dr. Jacek Mikosiński. – Patients who come to the National Health Fund and are registered, in about 10 percent do not cancel these visits and do not cooperate with the doctor, with the reception to postpone these visits – explains Dr. Jacek Mikosiński, vascular surgeon, Mikomed clinic in Łódź.

It is similar in most clinics and, unfortunately, the educational campaign conducted by the National Health Fund for the fifth year – “Cancel, do not block” – still does not appeal to too many people.

– This causes the situation that for 20 patients who had an appointment with a specific doctor on a given day, five of them come. The doctor does not accept other patients, because it seemed that they would come, they do not come, and the queue of patients who really need to come is getting longer – points out Jerzy Karpiński, the Pomeranian Voivodeship doctor.

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Someone’s carelessness can cost someone. – We could admit in the morning those patients who, for example, are urgent patients and who require admission on that day or the next – indicates Dr. Dariusz Kopczyński, orthopedist, deputy director of the Municipal Hospital in Częstochowa.

They wait for a diagnosis for weeks, and time is of the essence in their caseMarek Nowicki/Fakty TVN

“They think it’s normal”

Patients who care about visiting a doctor lose, and clinics also lose. – Our employees are employed by the hour and are also paid for these so-called empty runs. This applies to all primary care physicians, and this applies to outpatient specialist care physicians, but also to diagnostic clinics – emphasizes Andrzej Zapaśnik, internal medicine specialist, president of the Baltimed clinic in Gdańsk.

Within six months, over 457,000 people missed their scheduled medical appointments. Most, as many as 207,000, did not reach orthopedists and traumatologists of the musculoskeletal system. 140,000 resigned without further notice from visiting cardiologists, nearly 60,000 from endocrinologists, and nearly 50,000 from oncologists.

– If a patient signs up with one specialist now, he can no longer automatically use the same specialist under the National Health Fund, but perhaps he uses private care somewhere – explains Beata Kopczyńska from the National Health Fund.

However, this system also has other sides, which patients pay attention to. – You can spend literally the whole day with him and the phone doesn’t answer, so you have to go in person again to get along and make an appointment for a visit – says Mrs. Jadwiga.

Sometimes there is no one to bring patients, they felt bad that day or their age is not conducive to memory. However, the vast majority of patients simply do not care about others. – They do not even consider it appropriate to say “sorry”, they believe that it is normal, that they deserve everything – points out Andrzej Zapaśnik. Surely everyone deserves an equal opportunity to access medical services, hence the slogan “Cancel, don’t block”.

Main photo source: TVN facts

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