Staffing Shortages Deepen Poland's Crisis

As COVID-19 patients flood hospitals in Poland—with COVID-related deaths surpassing 800 a day—the pandemic has laid bare the country’s severe shortage of health workers.
The crisis has surpassed “even my worst dreams,” says Kinga Szlachcic-Wyroba, an anesthesiologist in Krakow, exhausted from 24-hour shifts as she and just 3 doctors struggle to care for their ward’s ever-growing number of ICU patients.
Poland had only 2.4 doctors and 5.1 nurses per 1,000 citizens—among the lowest in the EU—pre-pandemic, in 2017. Since then, many have left for better job opportunities abroad.
The Quote: "You can buy equipment, build temporary hospitals, produce more beds, but personnel is the element that is creating a bottleneck," Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said in February.


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