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Problems with access to physiotherapists. Expert comments

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434 days is a record for waiting for rehabilitation from the National Health Fund. Patients are forced to use paid services because the waiting time for an appointment is too long and the scope of services is limited. The Ministry of Health assures that it is monitoring the situation. Material from the “Poland and World” magazine.

Mrs. Elżbieta underwent surgery to implant an endoprosthesis in one knee and is now waiting for the other one. When she left the hospital after the first surgery, she knew that she should immediately start physiotherapy. It turned out that she would have to wait four months, so she decided to pay for physiotherapy.

According to the Ministry of Health National health Fund is trying to shorten the waiting time for physiotherapy and has already had some successes – we read in Deputy Minister Waldemar Kraska’s response to a parliamentary interpellation.

“Depending on the medical category, the waiting time for services ranges from a week to 3 months. When analyzing the waiting time, the experience qualification criteria and the lack of regionalization in the provision of these services should be taken into account,” it was reported.

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Problems with access to physiotherapists

This is wishful thinking of the Ministry of Health – responds the National Chamber of Physiotherapists (KIF). – In most cases, it takes about a year to wait for rehabilitation, but we have a record: 434 days of waiting for access to a physiotherapist – points out the president of KIF, Dr. Tomasz Dybek.

According to the Świat Przychodni website, the waiting time for outpatient physiotherapy depends on the voivodeship – in the Silesian Voivodeship the waiting time is on average 318 days, in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship 245 days. The wait will be much shorter in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Lublin and Lubusz voivodeships.

In most cases, you have to wait about a year for rehabilitationDmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock

At the Bródnowski Hospital in Warsaw, you can quickly get access to swimming pool rehabilitation – dates are available for February next year. – Unfortunately, if we move on to the universally liked and much-needed physiotherapy, these dates actually reach June 2024 – says Piotr Gołaszewski, spokesman for the Bródnowski Hospital.

At the Specialist Hospital in Sosnowiec, stable patients have a chance for physiotherapy in May, urgent patients in April, but this is still good for the Silesian Voivodeship. – Compared to other facilities, the waiting time is very short. In some facilities, the deadline is 2025 – emphasizes Dorota Zemła, head of the WSS rehabilitation facility in Sosnowiec.

The demand for physiotherapy is growing

Experts point out that with the increasing popularity of certain orthopedic procedures, the demand for physiotherapy is also growing. Now up to 75 percent of such services are performed in private offices.

– There are more older people in the National Health Fund. However, in our private clinics we see younger people who care more about time. They want to get back on their feet faster, so they decide to come privately – says physiotherapist Piotr Pietrowski.

Physiotherapy should not be delayed, especially after complex orthopedic procedures. – The response of tissues to surgical treatment is a state of increased tension, a tendency to form contractures, and stiffening of the joint, and the role of rehabilitation is to counteract these phenomena – explains specialist in orthopedics and traumatology of the musculoskeletal system, Dr. Maciej Kogut.

It is best for the patient to have planned rehabilitation after surgery. – My dream would be to introduce solutions that synchronize surgical treatment and treatment after injuries with some rehabilitation and rehabilitation – adds Dr. Maciej Kogut.

According to the National Chamber of Physiotherapists, it is necessary to make the financing of physiotherapy more realistic, but also to increase the competences of physiotherapists. Such proposals were presented to the former Minister of Health, Katarzyna Sójka.

Main photo source: Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock

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