The Minister of Health, Adam Niedzielski, signed an ordinance on Friday, according to which the catalog of data collected by medical personnel was expanded, inter alia, about allergies, blood type and pregnancy. – We do not create any registers, but only expand the reporting system based on the recommendations of the European Commission – says the spokesman of the Ministry of Health, Wojciech Andrusiewicz. Only medics will have access to the data, he emphasizes. The draft of these changes aroused great controversy from the very beginning. According to the opposition and some social organizations, the purpose of the regulation is to create a “pregnancy registry”. “Polish women do not become pregnant anymore for fear of having to give birth in any situation. There are just more reasons for fear” – wrote Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk from the Left on Twitter.
According to the Ministry of Health, the purpose of the regulation signed by Niedzielski is to clarify the detailed scope of data on a medical event processed in the information system and the rules for their transmission.
According to the ministry, the changes will translate into increased availability and transparency of information provided to the Medical Information System, which will improve the work of medical personnel, facilitate the circulation of medical documentation and reduce the costs of making it available.
The data that will appear in the SIM include: data for the identification of a medical entity, data on medical devices, information on allergies, implants, blood group, information on the start and end of hospitalization, the ICF code for therapeutic rehabilitation and information about pregnancy.
“The regulation does not create any registers, but only extends the reporting system”
– The Minister of Health signed the ordinance today. The catalog of data collected by medical personnel has been extended to include allergies, foreign bodies, blood type and the fact of being pregnant. It should be emphasized that the regulation does not create any registers, but only extends the reporting system – said the spokesman of the Ministry of Health Wojciech Andrusiewicz on Friday.
As he said, the expansion of the scope of data reported within the medical information system is the result of recommendations developed by the team appointed by the European Commission. This team, he added, was to develop a medical reporting standard that would facilitate the work of doctors in the context of an increasingly wide range of medical data that is subject to digitization.
– The team finished its work in 2013, when Bartosz Arłukowicz was the minister of health, and it was then that the first recommendation for European Union countries appeared, indicating the need to extend the scope of the reported data, e.g. for pregnancy. It should be emphasized that all the reported data indicated by the European Commission are intended primarily for patients, in particular those who quite often move between individual EU countries – said Andrusiewicz.
EU Patient Card. “Including a pregnancy in the reporting obligation is absolutely justified”
The spokesman said that this was the idea of establishing a Patient Summary – a Patient’s Card, which is to facilitate the use of medical services throughout the EU based on the history of treatment and basic data about the patient.
– The Patient Summary is to apply in the European Union from next year. Its implementation is obligatory for all EU countries. Including a pregnancy in the reporting obligation is absolutely justified in the light of the importance of this information from the perspective of the ongoing treatment process – he said.
In this context, he pointed out, inter alia, that pregnant women should not undergo a number of medical procedures, e.g. X-ray examinations, and that certain medicinal products should not be prescribed for them. The provision of information about the patient’s pregnancy by the service provider to SIM will therefore serve – as he argued – to adjust the therapy to the condition of the pregnant patient and to ensure the health safety of her and the unborn child.
– This is also what the European Commission emphasizes in its recommendations. Only the attending physician will have access to the reported data, and at the patient’s / patient’s request, any other doctor whose services a given person wishes to use, he said. He announced that for now the new data will be provided as an optional part of the Medical Information System. Reporting will come into force on October 1.
– Finally, I would like to emphasize once again that there is no question of creating a register of any kind. It is all about the safety of patients and patients – he added.
Allegations of creating a “pregnancy registry”
“The registry of pregnancies in the country with an almost complete ban on abortion is terrifying” – wrote Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, MP from the Left, on Twitter. “Polish women do not get pregnant anymore for fear of having to give birth in any situation. There are just more reasons for fear” – she added.
“The PiS government will record Polish women ‘pregnancies. Of course, it claims that it is all for the safety of women. So, as always, the opposite will be the case. It will tighten the control so that no woman can feel safe in Poland” – said Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, Deputy Speaker of the Sejm.
Already in the autumn of last year, when the draft regulation was consulted, there were many voices questioning the legitimacy of collecting data, for example on pregnancies.
The “pregnancy registry” was discussed in November 2021 by, inter alia, opposition politicians, e.g. the leader of the Civic Platform, Donald Tusk, and the Marshal of the Senate, Tomasz Grodzki.
Donald Tusk said then that “if it were a different government, one could have the illusion that it was about improving standards and increasing care for pregnant women in Poland”. – I would like them to be protective intentions, but none of the actions of this government indicates that it was their intention. Control and coercion, coercion and control, this is what became the ideological obsession of PiS – he assessed.
Grodzki said that “he cannot understand why the present authorities hate women so much as to turn them into machines for reproduction”. – It seemed to me that (George) Orwell’s prose, including 1984, is a literary fantasy that will never happen. I do not know if the number of pregnancies should match the number of births, in order to detect abortions or miscarriages, I do not know whose sick minds such idiotic ideas will fall into place – said Marshal Grodzki at the time.
Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka, Deputy Speaker of the Senate from the Left, said that the aim of the planned amendment is to “introduce a complete, complete ban on abortion”. – They go further, they want to liquidate the abortion underground, eliminate the possibility of abortion, even abroad, through such a register. The doctor who confirms the pregnancy will have to register it and the woman will be under surveillance – she warned.
Paulina Hennig-Kloska from Poland 2050 said that “the authorities may use (such a register – ed.) To pursue women who go abroad to terminate a pregnancy in safe conditions, which has no chance of success or development”. “There is no trust in the government, the Ministry of Health and, above all, the Ministry of Justice,” she added.
Main photo source: PAP / Zbigniew Meissner