Over 200 Doctors In Wrocław Withdraw From Doing Overtime

Wrocław's Borowska hospital has the largest number of doctors in Poland choosing to withdraw from overtime.

The so called 'opt-out clause', which allows workers to forego their limit of 48 hours a week, has already been terminated by 539 residents and specialist doctors in Lower Silesia. More than 200 of those are from Wrocław. 

The doctors choosing to terminate their opt-out clauses are doing so after their hunger strike this Autumn failed to yield the desired results. 

Marcin Lewicki, a resident and representative of Wrocław's health care workers, has said that the move was necessary to bring attention to the lack of doctors employed by Poland's public health service. This, he claims, also results in doctors treating patients while in a state of exhaustion. 

Lewicki stresses that the demands of the striking doctors remain the same, the most important of which is a rise in healthcare spending from 4.5% to 6.8% of GDP. He also maintains that their protest measures will continue until the ministry understands that the spending increase is necessary to "heal" the system. 

In the last month or so, 76 residents and 22 specialists have terminated their opt-out clauses at Wrocław's Borowska street hospital. This is the largest number of any hospital in Poland (although the hospital is now also the largest in Poland, with roughly 1,200 doctors on the payroll).

The director of Borowska hospital, Piotr Pobrotyn, has sought to reassure the public that the situation is under control. He told Gazeta Wyborcza that there were enough staff in the hospital to be able to deal with the 98 doctors who are pulling out of overtime.

The situation in the hospital on Kamieńskiego Street is said to be much more serious however. Wojciech Witkiewicz, who runs the hospital, told Gazeta Wyborcza that he doesn't know how he can organise the hospital's staff rota in the coming months.

The number of doctors pulling out of doing overtime will inevitably cause some problems for Poland's hospitals. It is nonetheless unlikely to be enough to cause the Polish Government to budge on the issue – particularly when they are riding so high in the polls.

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.

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