The Prime Minister: We acted quickly and decisively with regard to COVID-19

The government is effectively reducing the coronavirus epidemic, which has become the biggest global crisis in decades. We were among the first in Europe to introduce COVID-19-related restrictions, including border sanitary controls. As a result of our quick decisions, we did not find ourselves in the situation of Italy or Spain, where doctors had to choose which patients to treat. In Western Europe, the number of deaths per million inhabitants is more than 15 times greater than in Poland.

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Photo: Adam Guz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

After more than 2 months of the pandemic, we are in a completely different position than the richer countries, such as Spain, France or Great Britain. We were able to provide the Polish health service with an adequate number of hospital beds, respirators and medical equipment.

When COVID-19 emerged, instant decisions had to be made in order to save lives. Our priority was to avoid the selection of patients noted Mateusz Morawiecki at a joint conference with the heads of health, interior and administration ministries. For us, life and human dignity are of the highest value added the Prime Minister.

As the head of the government emphasised, our country has been successful in the fight against COVID-19. This was possible thanks to responsibility and social discipline. I would like to express my gratitude to all the Poles for that. Let's stay together said Mateusz Morawiecki.

Polish medical mission in Italy

The conference was also attended by doctors from the Military Institute of Medicine and the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who were on a medical mission in Italy. As Colonel Robert Ryczek, who participated in such a mission, pointed out, the principles of social isolation were introduced in Lombardy too late. They were only introduced when there were 7.5 thousand patients infected with COVID-19, so we can easily imagine how fast the virus could spread said the military doctor. For me, the most important is that in my work I was not faced with the necessity to choose which patient to save he added.

Rapid government response to COVID-19

How quickly did the government act, introducing restrictions related to the emergence of the coronavirus in Poland?

  • Restrictions petraining to mass events: 6 days after the first confirmed case (10 March).

- For example: in Spain such a decision was taken after 44 days.

  • Closing schools: 8 days after the first confirmed case (12 March).

- For example: in France, such a decision was taken after 52 days.

  • Closing the borders: 11 days after the first confirmed case (15 March).

- For example: in Germany, such a decision was made after 48 days.

  • A ban on leaving home: 21 days after the first confirmed case (24 March).

- For example: in Germany such a decision was taken after 55 days.

What is the efficiency of the Polish health service regarding COVID-19?

We are well prepared to admit patients with the coronavirus. Currently, only about 5% of the respirators and approximately 16% of the beds for patients with COVID-19 are occupied. We also have 135 laboratories, which are capable of performing more than 30 thousand tests daily.

The number of free beds for COVID-19 patients amounts to approximately 84%.
The number of free respirators for patients suffering from the coronavirus is about 95%.
In Poland, there are 21 one-name hospitals, i.e. those that are fully committed to fighting the coronavirus. However, the current situation related to COVID-19 makes it possible to think about a gradual reduction of their number.

Support for hospitals

We have provided additional resources for the services related to preventing and fighting COVID-19.

  • The National Health Fund provided the hospitals with PLN 400 million for the services related to the coronavirus treatment.
  • All expenditure related to the fight against COVID-19 comes from the State Budget. What is important, the financing of the fight against the epidemic will not be performed at the cost of other services paid for by the National Health Fund.
  • One-name hospitals, apart from a lump sum and payment for each service related to COVID-19, will also receive resources for their readiness to help patients (calculated per bed and respirator). Therefore, these institutions have full financial security.

Despite the situation related to COVID-19, resources for health care in Poland are gradually increasing. We are consistently implementing the assumptions of the Act of 6% of GDP on health care. In recent years, outlays on treatment have increased by nearly PLN 30 billion.

Polish medical missions in the fight against COVID-19

Thanks to a well-organised Polish health service, we were also able to help other countries by sending medical missions to them. Polish doctors from the Military Institute of Medicine and the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Internal Affairs went on such missions to Italy, the United States and Slovenia to share their experience in fighting the coronavirus.

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