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PiS lost the vote because two of its MPs abstained. The law on quality in health care was lost in the Sejm

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In Friday’s vote in the Sejm, one vote was missing to obtain an absolute majority, allowing the Senate’s veto to be overruled to the act on quality in health care and patient safety. Only two PiS MPs – Anna Dąbrowska-Banaszek and Józefa Szczurek-Żelazko – abstained from the vote. Thus, PiS, thanks to its own members, lost the chance to adopt this law. Health Minister Adam Niedzielski announced that he would “do everything to bring the law back”.

On Friday, the Sejm failed to override the Senate’s veto on the law on quality in health care and patient safety.

448 deputies took part in the vote. Absolute majority – which is necessary to override the Senate’s veto – was 225 deputies. It needed one vote to get it. 224 deputies voted for the rejection of the Senate’s resolution, 222 deputies voted against it, and 2 deputies abstained.

Voting on the Senate’s resolution on the rejection of the act on quality in health care and patient safetysejm.gov.pl

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Only two PiS MPs abstained

Among the 224 deputies who wanted the Senate resolution rejected, there were 220 PiS deputies out of 222 participating in the vote.

Among all parliamentarians, two MPs abstained from the vote, both from PiS: Anna Dąbrowska-Banaszek and Józefa Szczurek-Żelazko. Dąbrowska-Banaszek is a doctor, and Szczurek-Żelazko is a former deputy minister of health. If one of them voted, there would be an absolute majority in the hall. No one from PiS voted in favor of the resolution.


On the other hand, 123 KO deputies, i.e. all members of the club participating in the vote (three people did not vote), voted for the Senate’s veto, 43 members of the Left, i.e. all members of the club participating in the vote (one person did not vote).

All deputies of the Polish Coalition (who are 24), all deputies of the Confederation (who are 9), all deputies of the Agreement (who are 4), all deputies of Kukiz’15 (who are 3), all deputies of the Democratic Left (who are 3) voted for the resolution. 3). There were also 5 deputies of Poland 2050 in favor of adopting the resolution, i.e. all those taking part in the vote (one person did not vote).

In the Polish Affairs circle, the votes were divided: Andrzej Sośnierz, who is a doctor, supported the resolution, and Zbigniew Girzyński and Agnieszka Ścigaj voted against it.

The votes were also divided among non-associated deputies: the resolution was supported by Ryszard Galla, Hanna Gill-Piątek, Wojciech Maksymowicz, who is a doctor, and Paweł Szramka. Against it voted: Zbigniew Ajchler i Lukasz Meza. One non-attached MP, Michał Wypij, did not vote.

Niedzielski: I will do everything to bring the law back

The Minister of Health commented on the situation on Twitter Adam Niedzielski.

“It is a sad day when the interest of the patient loses to the interest of the corporation. However, I take this loss on myself. I initiated the bill on quality and I take responsibility for ensuring that the patient finally gains the quality he deserves. So I will do everything to bring the law back” – he wrote.

Medical circles objected, the Senate reservations of a constitutional nature

Monika Wielichowska, MP from the Civic Platform, also published a commentary. “We won the vote on the act on quality in health care and patient safety. Thus, 50 million of our health premiums, which go to National Health Fund and should power the health care system, they will NOT power sport,” she wrote.

“The widely criticized act on quality in health care has just collapsed – the Sejm failed to override the Senate’s veto. Thank you for mediocrity, it’s time for a real no-fault and patient safety!” – wrote Marcelina Zawisza, an MP from the Left.

The presidents of self-governments of medical professions appealed to the deputies not to adopt the act on quality in health care and patient safety in its current form. In their opinion, it does not bring positive system solutions, on the contrary – it would act to the detriment of patients and medics. They declared their readiness to participate in the preparation of a completely new draft law on quality.

At the stage of works in the Senate, objections to the act were voiced, among others, by the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Beata Małecka-Libera. She said that the document is an “incoherent patchwork” of various unrelated regulations and is the next stage of centralization of health care. She argued that a “devastating” opinion on the bill was presented by the Senate Legislative Office, according to which it raises fundamental reservations of a systemic and constitutional nature, and it is not possible to remove them at this stage of the bill’s processing. The senator also emphasized that the critical assessment of the act was presented by medical, medical and patient circles.

Act on Quality in Health Care and Patient Safety. What she assumed

The act provided for introduction of a mandatory authorization requirement for entities performing medical activity and providing health care services financed from public funds. The authorization was to be issued by the president of the National Health Fund for five years. The purpose of the authorization was to confirm that entities performing medical activity met certain conditions regarding the place of providing healthcare services, medical personnel and equipment with medical equipment and apparatus.

>>> The entire act on quality in health care and patient safety <<<

In addition, according to the Act, entities performing medical activity, i.e. hospitals, were to be obliged to monitor adverse events – including their identification, reporting and recording, as well as conducting an analysis of the causes of such events.

The Act provided for the introduction of regulations regarding the protection of medical personnel in connection with the reporting of an adverse event, which was intended to encourage the disclosure of as many adverse events as possible, without fear of possible sanctions.

There are also solutions provided that the court may apply extraordinary mitigation of punishment in relation to the person who reported the adverse event, i.e. a doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife, paramedic or laboratory diagnostician, before the body appointed to prosecute crimes found out about the crime. It was assumed that reporting an adverse event does not protect the person reporting it if, at the time of committing the offence, he or she was intoxicated, under the influence of alcohol, a narcotic drug, a psychotropic substance, a substitute drug or a new psychoactive substance, or if the negative effect it caused on the patient was caused intentionally or reported an adverse event knowing that the event did not occur or described its course untruthfully, unjustifiably blaming another person for the result of the event.

The Act also referred to the implementation of a two-instance, out-of-court system of compensation for damages for medical events, operated by the Ombudsman for Patients’ Rights – in place of the current voivodship committees for adjudicating on medical events. It was also envisaged to establish a Medical Events Compensation Fund, providing patients with compensation for damages related to health care. The Act also allowed for the possible transfer of funds from the supplementary fund, in the amount not exceeding PLN 50 million, to the Fund for the Development of Physical Culture, intended for financing the costs of creating health attitudes and health education.

Main photo source: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

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