Junior doctors in Poland who have gone on hunger strike over poor pay and conditions, and healthcare funding, have received the full support of the World Medical Association.
At their annual Assembly in Chicago, WMA delegates passed an emergency resolution expressing their serious concern about the dispute and urging the Polish Prime Minister to step in and negotiate an acceptable solution.
The Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists says the protest action follows several unsuccessful appeals to the Government to take action on the unacceptably low level of public expenditure. The current level of expenditure did not cover the justified needs of the population and was insufficient to ensure proper working conditions for health care professionals.
The WMA resolution notes that a number of junior doctors have been on hunger strike for some days, and that negotiations with the Health Minister have broken down.
‘It is essential that a resolution is found before these physicians suffer irreversible harm, or die, as they seek to improve working conditions for their colleagues and a better financial basis for health care provision for the population’.
WMA Chair Dr. Ardis Hoven said: ‘We urge the Prime Minister to step in and resolve this issue to protect the lives of physicians in specialist training, especially those currently on hunger strike, as well as taking the opportunity to better fund health services for all the population’.