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"Rzeczpospolita": Patients want to work


The possibility of receiving medication in clinics rather than in hospitals would provide the chronically ill with an opportunity to continue being active on the labour market.


Every year, hundreds of thousands of Poles are diagnosed with chronic illnesses. Cancer and rheumatoid joint inflammations are increasingly common among middle-aged or even young people. Therapy takes years, treatment is very time-consuming, which makes it difficult for patients to accept early retirement. Better healthcare organization – particularly solutions which do not require hospitalization – would be a hug relief for many. These problems were the focal point of the debate entitled “Illness: can you work with it?”, organized by “Rzeczpospolita”. – We are raised to value work from early age. We get an education and then grow professionally. Suddenly, we learn of our illness. Access to the labour market gets complicated – said Monika Ziętek of the National Association of Youth with Connective Tissue Inflammations “3majmysię razem”.


If the chronically ill want get treatment they have to visit hospitals during working hours. This means that they have to take days off and sick leave. Companies acknowledge the situation on the intersection of healthcare and the labour market. With this in mind, Employers of Poland have inaugurated the “Illness? I work with it!” campaign. It is supported by  patients’ organizations, who appeal for the chronically ill not to be excluded from the job market.


– If the chronically ill could work without having to go on sick leave, the costs of sickness benefits could decrease considerably. This issue has to be seen systemically. Such a solution would be beneficial for all parties – said Arkadiusz Pączka of Employers of Poland.


– We are trying to move patients from hospitals to out-patients' departments to decrease the risk of complications – stated prof. dr hab. Wiesław Jędrzejczak, hematooncologist and the Director of the Department and Clinic of Hematology. Oncology and Internal Illnesses of the Independent Public Central Clinical Hospital in Warsaw. He also emphasized that sometimes hospitalization is unavoidable as patients who have live many years with chronic illnesses often need hospital care.


Patients, employers and doctors are convinced that in order to stay active in the job market, the chronically ill need access to intravenous medication. The fact that its costs are reimbursed in many European countries proves that it helps patients remain active without additional expenses.