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Problems of neonatal care in the Warmian-Masurian province. NIK presents post-inspection report

MedExpress Team


Published April 5, 2024 09:59

Problems of neonatal care in the Warmian-Masurian province. NIK presents post-inspection report - Header image
fot. Piotr Wójcik
Staff shortages and financial problems of neonatology departments in the audited hospitals in the Warmian-Masurian province made it difficult to provide adequate care for newborns. Between 2022 and 2023, neonatology services were stopped several times at the Biskupiec hospital. In Bartoszyce hospital, on the other hand, due to problems with hiring pediatricians and neonatologists, on-call duties in the children's, neonatal and rehabilitation wards were combined. The NIK notes that the difficult situation of neonatal wards, combined with the decline in the number of births in recent years, poses a real threat of closing these wards.

There is a shortage of neonatologists in hospitals with the lowest levels of reference, NIK auditors have found. The functioning of neonatal wards is adversely affected by the decreasing number of births from year to year. In 2022, fewer than 10,000 babies will be born in the Warmian-Masurian province, 3,000 fewer than in 2019. (just under 13 thousand children). Importantly, the decline in the number of births does not apply only to this province, but to the whole country. According to CSO estimates, 272 thousand children will be born in Poland in 2023 (an 11 percent drop compared to 2022. - 305 thousand births were recorded then). This is the lowest number of births since the end of World War II. Due to the demographic decline, the lack of an adequate number of neonatologists and the financial problems of neonatal wards, some hospitals are temporarily halting the operation of such wards and are even considering closing them.

In the period from September 2023 to January 2024, the NIK inspected six hospitals, including four with the first degree of reference (John P...

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