Adopted as a Council Resolution by the 207th Council Session, Chicago, October 2017 and
adopted by the 68th General Assembly, Chicago, United States, October 2017
Doctors in specialist education in Poland are protesting against underfunding of the health services, resulting in poor access to health care for the population, and very low salaries for doctors in specialist training. Currently health expenditure in Poland is 6.1% of GDP (Global average around 9.8%) Doctors in specialist education have salaries of around 510-580 Euro per month after tax, and many are working several jobs to afford housing and other living expenses.
For over 8 days a number of doctor have been on hunger strike in Warsaw while negotiations with the Health Minister were underway. Those negotiations have now broken down.
The World Medical Association notes with serious concern the dispute between physicians in specialist education and the government of Poland, in relation to health sector funding and the salaries of junior doctors, many of whom are having to work several jobs to achieve a living wage.
We note that a number of these doctors have been on hunger strike for some days, and also 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.
We urge the Prime Minister to step in and negotiate an acceptable solution to protect the lives of physicians in specialist education, especially those currently on hunger strike, as well as taking the opportunity to better fund health services for all the population.
We, the physicians of the World Medical Association, stand in solidarity with the physicians in Poland.