The Social Committee of the Council of Ministers on the prospects of development of family life and health care for seniors

Living in a family requires special support and protection. We are pleased that the material situation of parents and children in Poland is constantly improving. However, we need further impulses that will allow for steady and sustainable growth of the quality of life of Polish society. Therefore, in cooperation with non-governmental organizations, we have prepared directional recommendations that put family life at the centre of government's interest, said Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydło. As a result of demographic conditions, our society is aging. We must therefore address the problem of the availability of health services for seniors. Improvements are needed in the care system for the elderly, added the chairman of the Social Committee of the Council of Ministers.

Strengthening the role of the family in social life

The Social Committee of the Council of Ministers adopted a position on youth, marriage and family. It pointed out that family and social policy should be approached in an integrated manner. It is based on comprehensive solving of social problems, based on the involvement of all ministries.

The document stressed that urgent measures are needed to strengthen the durability of marriages, reduce the divorce wave and strengthen family prophylaxis. Members of the Committee recommend basing the state policy on the policy of promoting the family and the values related to it, which would consist of focusing thinking and acting of ministries and state institutions on the family.

The position of the Social Committee is the result of cooperation between non-governmental organizations and state administration. My experience resulting from the preparation of the PiS electoral programme, putting it into practice by the government, which I had the honour to lead, shows that direct conversation with Poles brings excellent results. This is also how I approach dialogue with representatives of the non-governmental sector, indicated the chairwoman of the Social Committee of the Council of Ministers.

The recommendations have been worked out in cooperation with, among others, the Association of Large Families 3+, the Institute of Integrated Prophylaxis and the Mama and Papa Foundation.

Seniors in the health care system

Over the next few decades, the number of elderly people will increase significantly, including those requiring permanent care, treatment and rehabilitation. That is why the Social Committee of the Council of Ministers listened to the information of Bartłomiej Chmielowiec - Patient Rights Spokesman (PRS), who discussed the situation of elderly people in the health care system.

The Patient Rights Spokesman raised the topic of creating geriatric rehabilitation wards. He also talked about the obligation to introduce geriatric consultations when hospitalizing an elderly person in a non-geriatric ward. The Spokesman also postulated the implementation of Geriatric care standards, which would comprehensively describe health care solutions addressed to the elderly.

One of the most important problems of care for seniors is the constant increase in the demand for treatment, rehabilitation, nursing and care services related to the aging of Poles. There is also a shortage of staff and facilities providing medical and nursing services. Therefore, according to the Patient Rights Spokesman, the geriatric care system should strive for a model in which the elderly and disabled persons would be covered by geriatric rehabilitation after being in hospital and then fluidly returned to their homes. Thanks to that, the degree of independence of seniors would improve, and families taking care of them would receive help.

The Patient Rights Spokesman also recommended changing the curriculum of medical studies. In his opinion, geriatrics and gerontology should be obligatory and completed with an exam. He also proposed introducing classes on the ability of effective communication of medical personnel with patients and their relatives.

The Committee's decision established that inter-ministerial works on legislative changes concerning the PRS powers regarding the control of Social Welfare Centres (including private nursing homes) and institutions providing the same services in the scope of access to health care charges will be carried out in working mode.

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