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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Surgeons are missing. Hospitals have a problem, there are not enough doctors and nurses

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Surgeons leave hospitals, work in others, but after a while they return to where they left off. – This is a personnel war – says one of the experts. Anna Wilczyńska determined what the war is really about. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.

The history of the operation of the surgery ward at the provincial hospital in Rybnik is full of HR twists and turns. In 2019, all surgeons went to the hospital in Wodzisław Śląski. New ones were found, but they also left. This year, however, the branch is to return to work in a month.

– A team of 14 surgeons returns to the hospital in Rybnik – says the spokesman of the facility, Maciej Kołodziejczyk. Only to be happy, if not for the fact that the entire group of fourteen had to leave the hospital in Wodzisław first. The effect is that now the surgery in Wodzisław does not work.

– Patients will not be supplied by our hospital in terms of general surgery until we are able to find a new medical team that would be able to run a general surgery department – admits Krzysztof Kowalik, director of the County Public Healthcare Center in Rydułtowy and Wodzisław Silesian.

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The entire ward, headed by the head of the ward, left the hospital. – Doctors emphasize that working in a provincial hospital gives them much greater opportunities for professional development, gives them the opportunity to perform procedures that cannot be performed in a district hospital – says Maciej Kołodziejczyk.

“Personnel War, Fight for Life”

It’s not just about prestige – we hear in Wodzisław. Director Kowalik explains that doctors made such a decision because of the higher salary proposed by the hospital in Rybnik.

This is a personnel war – experts estimate. – This is a fight for life. It should be remembered that often these centers are governed by local governments, everyone wants to provide care for their citizens and residents of a given region. However, they compete for a very narrow resource – explains Wojciech Wiśniewski from the Healthcare Committee of the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs.

In the following years it can be even more difficult – the average age of surgeons is 60 years old, one in three is between 55 and 64 years old.

Bytów without maternity ward

The president of the Bytów County Hospital in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Beata Hinc, has just discovered how difficult it is to find an employee. She had to suspend the maternity and neonatal wards, because the only neonatologist employed there returned to his home hospital in Zakopane. There are no other people willing to work.

– A conversation with such a doctor does not even start with money, but simply: “No, I don’t have time,” admits Hinc.

City councilors are concerned about the situation. They do not want women in labor to go to hospitals 30 kilometers away. – Bytów is a poviat town and we are trying to ensure that there is this branch in the poviat town – says Katarzyna Januszewska-Lisińska, councilor from Bytów.

There is a shortage of doctors in hospitals

Apart from the fact that poviat hospitals and voivodship hospitals are fighting for employees, doctors from hospitals are also draining primary healthcare facilities – explains the medical director of the Poviat Hospital in Drezdenko in Lubuskie. It was here that the internal medicine ward had to be suspended.

There are not enough doctors and nurses to cover the needs of all medical facilities – estimates Wojciech Wiśniewski from the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs. – Perhaps it is time to start thinking about some profiling of hospitals and their consolidation – he adds.

– Closing branches, fighting for staff are a manifestation of a structural problem that we will deal with again for many years, which requires supra-political consent, which requires the approval of local communities and we must start this process – emphasizes Wojciech Wiśniewski.

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