Warsaw. Protest of health care workers. The white town changes its formula and moves online

Medics’ tents may soon disappear from Aleje Ujazdowskie. The representatives of the white town announced on Wednesday about “changing the formula” of the protest. – We are moving the main activity to the network – Krystyna Ptok, chairman of the Polish National Trade Union of Nurses and Midwives, announced on Wednesday. However, she made a reservation that the town would remain “symbolic”.

– We have decided to change the formula of the white town. We transfer the main activity to the network, we will provide advice there. The white town remains symbolically – said Krystyna Ptok, chairwoman of the National Trade Union of Nurses and Midwives at the Wednesday press conference of the Protest and Strike Committee for Healthcare.

She also recalled that their demands were not only related to wages, but also changes in the organization of the health care system. She explained that such a decision was caused, inter alia, by signals from healthcare representatives that there were more and more problems with “fastening schedules” in medical facilities: – By decision of voivodes, people are transferred to temporary hospitals. Staff who are in hospital wards where we treat patients for ailments other than covid are stripped of themselves.

The white town, she added, will only symbolically stay where it is now (opposite the Chancellery of the Prime Minister), and the protesters are moving their activity online. – The assembly will still be reported. We will provide virtual advice to patients, conduct instructional videos – announced Ptok. She also announced that the circle of people with whom the committee will cooperate will expand to include patients: – We should merge our activities and work out positions during the pandemic.


The fourth wave is overwhelming

– The fourth wave of the pandemic has overwhelmed patients and medics. We are faced with increasingly tougher confessions and patients suffer the most – they cannot get to specialists in fields other than covid, there is also a shortage of staff in covid hospitals. Nurse colleagues tell us that in many ICU units on duty with the most seriously ill, instead of six nurses for 12 patients, there are two or three nurses. Gynecologists deal with 90-year-olds with pneumonia, which is not entirely within their competence, but there is a lack of medics, said Artur Drobniak, vice-president of the Supreme Medical Council.

He noted that for these reasons, “responsibility requires them to change the form of protest”: – As the government is not taking any action to limit the fourth wave and is not helping medics fight the pandemic, we are committed to doing everything possible to save as many Poles as possible. We, medics and non-medics, all healthcare professionals.

The decision of the medics to suspend the activities of the white town was commented on by the Minister of Health, Adam Niedzielski, at the Wednesday conference. – I would like to thank you for this responsible decision, because now the priorities are different and it is obvious that you need to focus on defending human life and health. Nevertheless, I would like to say that the agreement we concluded recently within the tripartite team largely took into account the postulates that we discussed with the protest committee, so part of this agreement is a very clear nod to the committee and certainly this gesture in the form of suspension of activities I really appreciate the white town and declare my openness to talks – said Niedzielski.

Eight postulates

On September 11, after a manifestation of health care workers in Warsaw, Białe Miasteczko 2.0 was established near the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, referring to the white town of nurses from 2007. It is still there today. The National Protest and Strike Committee of Healthcare Workers made eight demands. They include, among others, increases and a real increase in the valuation of benefits, the introduction of sick leave after 15 years of professional work, as well as the enactment of laws on laboratory medicine and the profession of a paramedic.

After the meeting with the Tripartite Team for Healthcare at the beginning of November, the Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski announced that an agreement was reached between representatives of medical professions and employers. However, the representatives of the protest committee from the white town did not participate in the meeting. Krystyna Ptok later called it a “misunderstanding” on TVN24 and noted that it was concluded with a limited representation of medical professions. – It is as if Minister Niedzielski signed the agreement with himself again – she assessed.

– This agreement is once again signed with a limited representation of medical workers. The protest and strike committee is made up of all trade unions in the health care industry. Trade Unions Forum, which is the largest medical industry. Neither Solidarność nor the OPZZ has such an industry, she explained.

PAP. tvnwarszawa.pl, tvn24.pl

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Main photo source: archive of TVN24

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