Patient safety – Law and practice


Patient Safety – Law and Practice ”is the title of the seminar held on January 19 at the Office of the Human Rights Defender. It was organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Poland’s accession to the Council of Europe.

The right to health protection is one of the most obvious rights. We all know very well that it is guaranteed by the Constitution, but it is difficult to say clearly what it really means, said Adam Bodnar, a spokesman for civil rights, when he opened the conference.

He said this was one of the reasons why the Commission of Health Experts had been set up in the Office of the Human Rights Defender – to discuss the most important issues and find the best solutions.  The speaker stressed that it is worth analyzing the health care system primarily from the point of view of patient safety.

He recalled the case of an anesthetist who died while on duty. She worked four days non-stop: she was not a full-time worker, but was contracted, so she was not under working time rules. The Ombudsman dealt with this matter. The issue of doctors’ work schedule was investigated , among others, by the National Labor Inspectorate.

According to PIP data, some doctors are called for 70-80 hours. And that can compromise patient safety.  The director of the Warsaw Council of Europe Office, Dr. Hanna Machińska, spoke about international standards for the protection of patients’ rights.

It referred, inter alia, to the Council of Europe’s recommendations on the establishment of a comprehensive regulation on patient safety (Recommendation Rec (2006) 7 of the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe for Member States on managing patient safety and preventing adverse events Health events).

She notes that work is currently underway on the requirements of the draft law on quality in health care and patient safety. They are based, among others, the putting into effect of Council of Europe recommendations, such as reporting relevant quality health system. Anna Leśniewska, representative of the Ministry of Health, spoke about the details of this document at the seminar.