“It is possible that we will have to return to stricter restrictions. Our responsibility will decide about it,” Wojciech Andrusiewicz, the spokesman of the Ministry of Health, said.
The beginning of the third wave of the pandemic in Poland is already a fact, as evidenced not only by the growing dynamics of the increase in infections but also by the increasing number of hospitalized people. The extent to which the pandemic can be controlled will determine the implementation of the health recovery plan for Poles, which involves encouraging visits and check-ups.
Doctors have been alarming for weeks that the consequence of the prolonged pandemic and failure of the health care system is the growing health debt in society. Currently, significantly fewer patients report to primary health care and specialists, and many of them are already in the advanced stage of diseases, e.g. oncological or cardiological diseases.
The NFZ data quoted by the Polish Cancer Society shows that in 2020 over 17,000 fewer diagnostic and cancer treatment cards were issued than in 2019. This year's statistics also indicate a disturbing trend (over 3,000 cards less in January vs. 2020). Last year, 33 percent of women aged 50-69 volunteered for breast cancer screening (before the pandemic it was 55-60 percent), and cytology was performed by approx. 14 percent of women aged 25–59 (30-40 percent before the pandemic). Doctors alert that the worst statistics look in colonoscopy, for which only a few percent of those eligible in some voivodeships reported.
As the spokesman of the Ministry of Health points out, the government has a plan to ease the health debt and restore the health of Poles after the pandemic, but first, it is necessary to control the epidemiological situation and slow down the growth of infections.