Not yet in the state of emergency, but right next to it. #MedycyNaGranicy – a group of several dozen people with medical education – started their duty in Podlasie. They will support with their knowledge and experience organizations that provide assistance to migrants outside the zone. The medics declared their help for the next 40 days.
On Thursday at 8 o’clock #MedycyNaGranicy began their first duty near the Polish-Belarusian border. Crews will work in rotation in three-person teams (driver-rescuer, doctor, paramedic) and respond 24 hours a day to reports from activists trying to help migrants. Today, the team consists of Mikołaj Łaski, Anna Borkowska and Jakub Borkowski. Everyone is ready to respond to requests and help people who need it.
– We’re gonna stay for 40 days. Our base will be located southeast of Białystok. According to our information, this is where the most victims are. We still do not have the consent of the ministry to enter the zone of emergency, but we will be right next to it – says Jakub Sieczko on the initiative of #MedycyNaGranicy.
Before their arrival, the volunteer medics informed the commanders of the local border guards and local emergency services about the launch of their ambulance. They also ensured that they had provided their contact and emergency numbers. Their ambulance is 300 meters from the emergency area.
“Our action is apolitical”
#MedycyNaGranicy is a group of 42 people with medical education who declare that they want – on their own expense and thanks to the help of donors – to provide medical assistance to migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border. The group met spontaneously and is headed by Jakub Sieczko, an anaesthesiologist. As he says, it all started with one message from a volunteer from an aid organization operating near the border. It was a request to contact local medics who could support the activists with their knowledge.
A group of medics who want to help on the Polish-Belarusian border are specialists from various parts of Poland: Warsaw, Gdańsk, Lublin, Wrocław, Kraków and many other cities.
They are waiting for the green light
September 24 #MedycyNaGranicy submitted an application to the Minister of the Interior and Administrationin which they ask for permission to enter the area covered by the state of emergency. A reply from one of the ministry departments came four days later.
Jakub Sieczko: – The representative of the ministry did not refer to our request directly, but only informed that the situation is such that medical assistance is provided by people employed in border guards and the local state rescue system. It is we who would like to unburden the services that operate there, both physically and mentally. We are open to cooperation not only with aid organizations, but also with border guards. We also declare that we will obey the law.
The medics’ initiative is supported by 25 outstanding doctors and doctors, who on Monday appealed to the minister of foreign affairs and administration on this matter. #MedycyNaGranicy also counts on the help of the Primate of Poland, to whom they sent a letter asking him to become a mediator between them and the ministry. There is no information on any specific actions yet.
Jakub Sieczko: – We are giving the state authorities time to rethink their health strategy regarding this crisis, because the current one is not sufficient. People suffer and die. We want to deal with fire fighting, i.e. a response to the current crisis.
The medics intend to renew their application to the Ministry of Interior and Administration for permission to enter the zone soon. A border guard spokeswoman said Wednesday that “the initiative is great”, but volunteer medics should first and foremost report to hospitals, where systemic assistance is used by officers when migrants require medical care.
On Thursday, during the conference, 2nd Lt. Anna Michalska, when asked about medics again, said that the position of the border guard in this matter has not changed. – It is a great initiative for medics to come, but to hospitals. They would help those immigrants we transport to hospitals, today it’s 15 people. These medics are needed the most. I think that people from Podlasie would also benefit from it – said Michalska.
Main photo source: FB- Medics At The Frontier