In the Specialist Hospital of Dr. Alfred Sokołowski, the surgeon – according to some medics and the local media – was to leave the patient on the operating table, and one of the treatments had to be completed by the surgeon. The situation in the operating block is – as the employees inform in the letter – the aftermath of the difficult staffing situation in the entire facility. The letter is addressed, among others, to the voivode, minister of health and the National Health Fund. Meanwhile, the hospital “vehemently denies false information regarding the alleged incident in the operating room.”
The authors of the letter are former employees of the general surgery ward in the Wałbrzych hospital – eight doctors who have recently terminated their work. Now they are asking for “immediate intervention in the event of a catastrophic situation in the ward.”
He did not complete the operation
“Over the past two months, due to the management’s conduct, three surgeons who run the Surgical Endoscopy Department submitted their terminations. Then the deputy head of the department was dismissed without logical justification, and the current head of the department was moved to the position of deputy. From October 1, the department operates without a head” – the doctors say.
They add that, in their place, the hospital hired two doctors, general surgery specialists who had already worked in the ward for over a month, but at the end of October – according to the doctors – there was a situation that called into question the competence of at least one of the new employees.
“Unfortunately, it turned out that they were not able to perform basic emergency surgery on their own. As a consequence, it led to a situation in which one of the procedures had to be completed by an instrumentalist” – we read in the letter.
The patient survived, but the doctors point out that only two surgeons will remain on the ward at work, who, according to the authors of the letter, “are not able to run the ward, let alone perform basic emergency procedures”, which poses a risk to patients.
No hands to work
The authors of the letter explain that the doctor on duty from the 42-bed general surgery ward must also look after patients from other departments: oncological surgery, urology, maxillofacial surgery, and be a consultant in the HED.
“Until now, we had one-man duty with a second surgeon ‘on the phone’. As, as in all surgical departments in Poland, the staff crisis reached us many months earlier, oncology surgeons have been helping us for some time. there was only one surgeon left, burdened with a huge amount of duties, exceeding any norms of working time “- write the medics.
They also alarm that no scheduled procedures have been performed for several months, and patients have begun to ask for help from other hospitals in the region. According to doctors, there were also situations when patients did not agree to be transported to the facility in Wałbrzych, wanting to self-medicate elsewhere.
Doctors: We’ve reached our limit
The letter was signed by: Dariusz Lorenc, Olaf Mędraś, Artur Raiter, Marcin Kontek, Joanna Szełemej, Kamil Gajecki, Patryk Milczarek and Maciej Ostrowski. The surgeons emphasize that they repeatedly asked the management to intervene.
“In our opinion, it was necessary to reduce the number of emergency beds, and even temporarily apply to the hospital management, i.e. the marshal’s office, to close the ward due to the lack of employees. Without any help from the management, we tried to maintain the continuity of patient care, despite everything. to the limit of our abilities (…) It is very difficult for us to accept what is happening. Regardless of everything, the patient should count first of all, and unfortunately the current management seems to forget about it “- conclude the authors of the letter.
Hospital declaration and NHF proceedings
In this case, the statement was issued by the management of the Wałbrzych hospital. “We firmly deny false information about the alleged incident in the operating room of the Dr. A. Sokołowski Specialist Hospital in Wałbrzych. It is a lie that the doctor left the operated patient and the surgery was completed by a nurse-instrumentalist” – we read in the position of the facility. And further: “The information provided in a letter sent by a group of people to various public administration entities and the media is untrue, defamatory and harmful to the Provincial Hospital in Wałbrzych and the medical staff working there.”
According to the hospital management, the patient’s surgery was performed in accordance with the applicable procedures. And the doctor – as it was written in the statement – was with the patient from the beginning to the end of the procedure. “It should be added that the surgeon, after completing the operation, participated in the transfer of the patient from the operating table to the post-operative trolley. This fact is also confirmed by the nurse-instrumentalist assisting during the entire procedure” – we read in the hospital’s statement. The letter also emphasized that the facility was operating in a stable manner. Moreover, about the case of “a libelous letter directed against the hospital”, a request for explanatory proceedings was sent to the Lower Silesian Medical Chamber.
The case is already being dealt with by the general surgery consultant Dr. Paweł Domosławski and the National Health Fund. – We have received a signal regarding the inadequate security of the general surgery ward at the hospital in Wałbrzych. The director of the Lower Silesian branch initiated explanatory proceedings in this matter – says Anna Szewczuk-Łebska, spokeswoman for the Lower Silesian branch of the National Health Fund.
The problems of the Wałbrzych hospital
The cardiovascular problems of the facility in Wałbrzych coincided with the replacement of the director. In August, Mariola Dudziak was fired after 16 years of work. The managing authority of the hospital, the Marshal’s Office, justified the decision with the accusations that it acted to the detriment of the hospital and that it failed to fulfill its obligations. In her statement, Dudziak accused the management board of misrepresentation. The hospital staff and some of Lower Silesian local government officials stood up in its defense. Adriana Tomusiak was hired in her place.
The dismissal of President Wałbrzych, Roman Szełemej, was also widely publicized. Specialist Hospital for them. A. Sokołowski in Wałbrzych informed in a statement on termination of an employment contract with a local government officialwho worked in the hospital as a cardiologist. The hospital explained the decision as “a gross breach of basic employee duties”. Shelemey himself considered the dismissal politically motivated.
Main photo source: Google Street View