Operator Helps Childbirth

April 2, 2014
Saved a Life

Saved a Life

Last week, a man rang an emergency number requesting help for his wife who was in labour. Before the dispatcher got through to the emergency medical services, she offered some advice that helped in the safe birth of the child. The Pomeranian regional governor ordered a check of the operators of the 112 emergency number and medical dispatchers. According to procedures, if the emergency dispatcher is unable to connect the caller, they are required to stay in touch with the caller. In the meantime, another operator attempts to get through to the emergency medical services. Fortunately, the operator, who spoke to the man trying to help his wife, had medical qualifications. She instructed the man not to try to pull out the child by force, even though the head was already visible. The child was safely born before the ambulance arrived. “The operator has asked to remain anonymous. She says she was only performing her duties,” says Roman Nowak, press officer to the Pomeranian governor.
Gazeta Wyborcza

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PM Tusk Faces PR Disaster

March 31, 2014
Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises

The Polish government is looking for money so it can keep its own promises but the budget cannot afford any more unexpected costs. Last year the government cut funds for the renovation of local roads in order to save money. The government did this at the last moment when local governments had already made preparations for their investments. What is more, the cuts were high and amounted to PLN 750 million. The PLN 250 million that remained is not enough for the most important investments. So, the government has started looking for money and found additional funds in the State Forests National Holding, which will boost the budget coffers by several million zlotys. Thanks to this financial boost, the funding for the renovation of local roads will increase. However, the Polish government is now planning to transfer these funds to finance an increase in benefits for the parents of disabled children. This is necessary but why should it take place at the expense of public roads? Why did the Prime Minister not look for the money as part of the reform of miner pensions or social insurance for farmers? Is he afraid of them? At present, the parents of handicapped children are causing a PR disaster for PM Tusk in their quest for higher benefits. These parents have only been shouting, screaming and crying to fight for their rights. On the other hand, miners and farmers have more effective weaponry in their arsenal: burning tyres, blocking roads and going on strike.
Gazeta Prawna

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Child Dies in Olsztyn Hospital

March 24, 2014
Tragedy

Tragedy

A three-year-old child died in the children’s hospital in Olsztyn on Sunday. The parents of the child have filed a notice informing the public prosecutor of an offence being committed by the hospital staff, who could well be found guilty of negligence, according to Radio ZET. “The illness seemed to spread extremely quickly and this could be down to a medical error,” said Arkadiusz Szwedowski of the Olsztyn District Public Prosecutor’s Office. The parents had objections to the way their child was being treated as well as the diagnosis of the illness. An autopsy is planned soon. This is yet another death of a child in hospital in recent months. At the beginning of February, a three-year girl died in the Regional Specialised Hospital in Częstochowa. Also, a pair of twins died in January, following complications during childbirth in a hospital in Włocławek.
wiadomosci.dziennik.pl

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Child Depression

March 9, 2014
Help Needed

Help Needed

According to Rzeczpospolita, there is a lack of money for the psychiatric care of children and young people and what is more, the number of people in need of help is increasing. It is the second time this year that Marek Michalak, Ombudsman of Children’s Rights, has tried to draw the attention of Bartosz Arłukowicz, Poland’s Minister of Health, to the fact that children and young people have problems accessing specialist psychiatrists. This is because such medical procedures are priced too low. Michał Stelmanski, chairman of the Mazovia Regional Centre of Neuropsychiatry in Zagórz says, “Our debt for 2013 is approximately PLN 2.8m. We no longer know where we can make savings and cut costs. We restructured the hospital, modernised it and most of the personnel earn a minimum wage.” The problem with financing child psychiatry comes from the fact that no one has taken into consideration that child psychiatry costs much more than adult psychiatry. Meanwhile, the percentage of children and young people with mental health problems is on the increase. In 2013, twice as many young patients applied for care in one of Warsaw’s mental health institutions compared to the year before.
wiadomosci.wp.pl

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Polish Ecological Farming in Danger

March 6, 2014
Still Organic?

Still Organic?

Government policy over the next few years may inhibit the development of Polish agriculture, which is still growing dynamically thanks to EU funds. It is estimated that more than 80% of Polish-brand organic food is exported, mainly to the countries of Western Europe and the United States. According to data of the Ministry of Agriculture, at the end of last year, a 10% increase in the number and amount of organic producers was observed in comparison to 2011. Experts from the Polish Senate, the upper chamber of the Polish Parliament, maintain there is a visible correlation between the sharp interest in organic farming and EU grants, for which farmers have been able to apply from 2004. However, Tadeusz Solarski, Vice President of Polish Cereal Producers claims that farmers are concerned by rumours that EU support for organic farming will soon be reduced. The anxiety of Polish eco-farmers has increased due to the government’s new agricultural policy. Budget contributions per 1 hectare will go unchanged, but will halve for subsidised areas. Moreover, the draft rural development programme for 2014-2020, prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, provides further restrictions (already partially introduced last year), which may deepen the slump in Polish agriculture. Both agricultural experts and Greenpeace believe that the number of organic farms in Poland will fall, which would be unique compared to all other countries across the globe.
biznes.interia.pl

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13-year-old Jesika Giving Birth

March 5, 2014
Young Mum

Young Mum

13-year-old Jesika Górska may still be a child but she will soon be a mother. The girl has already gone into hospital, in Włocławek. “She will give birth any day now,” according to doctors, who confirmed that it would be a baby girl. “The baby’s fine and will weigh more than 3 kilograms,” said Jesika before entering the maternity unit. Jesika became pregnant in the sixth grade of primary school. She was only 12 years old at the time. Despite this fact, she said she wanted to have the baby and raise her child. However, the girl is afraid that her baby will be taken from her as she lives in a tiny house with her mother and four other siblings. “I know that I will love my baby more than anything,” says Jesika. “She’ll be happiest with me,” she adds. Jesika did not have an easy childhood. Her father drank and abused her mother and her four siblings. When the girl was 9 years old, her mother ran away with her children. After some years, she found the love of her life, a quiet, pleasant man. They all live in a small house. There is no running water, and the walls are moldy. The municipal authorities want to put the young mother and newborn in a special facility but Jesika hopes that the local government will try to find a council house for the two of them and her mother which is dry and has running water.
se.pl

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Meat From Eastern Poland is Healthy

March 5, 2014
Tasty Polish

Tasty Polish

“There is no reason for concern; pork is healthy,” according to Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Stanisław Kalemba, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has promised that the government will not leave farmers without assistance. After discovering two cases of African Swine Fever (ASF), the veterinary services have designated a buffer zone covering a few counties in the Podlaskie, Lubelskie and Mazowieckie Provinces, along the Belarus border. Animals have to be kept in closed premises and meat cannot be exported from this buffer zone. According to European standards, meat that originates from such a zone must be marked as such. Prime Minister Tusk explains that “we have created a buffer zone for protection”. He emphasised that the cases of ASF in Poland refer only to boars. Thus, he claimed, there is no reason for concern because pigs have not been diagnosed yet and there is no reason to believe that this will happen in the nearest future. At the end of January, Russia demanded that pork exported from the EU to Russia was not certified. This ended with a ban on the import of meat to Russia. The export of pork is also impossible to a large number of other non-European countries like China, Japan or Korea due to the appearance of ASF in Poland. Tusk claimed that the issue is particularly difficult for producers of pork who have problems selling the meat. On Tuesday afternoon, there was a meeting of ministers regarding ASF. At a conference before the meeting, Tusk said that “we will work on recommendations… for the nearest future to alleviate… the concerns of producers and buyers of meat”.
newsweek.pl

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Automatic Emergency Calls

February 28, 2014
Improving Road Safety

Improving Road Safety

The European Parliament has decided that from October 2015, car manufacturers should be ready to install the eCall system in cars. This system will facilitate the assessment by emergency services of the extent of an accident and the required assisstance. It will allow rescuers to arrive faster and save people’s lives. What is more, the costs of stopping traffic will decrease. The eCall system will use the 112 emergency number through which all necessary information will be automatically sent by the car. According to the European Commission, each eCall device will cost about €100. However, as the system is for public use, it should be for free. The information that a car will send to the emergency services will be limited to the type of vehicle involved in the accident, fuel type, time of accident, exact location, travel direction and the number of passengers wearing seatbelts. There are already similar systems used in cars although hitherto no formal regulations were in place. In Poland, only BMW, Subaru and Skoda use such devices in their vehicles.
tvn24.pl

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Polish Incineration

February 26, 2014
Burn, Baby, Burn

Burn, Baby, Burn

A new waste incineration plant in Poznań will be able to detect heavy metals in waste as well as recycle the waste into material that can be used in the construction of roads. The proposals for the first municipal waste incineration plant in Poland, which is set to be built in Poznań in 2016, has been applauded across Europe. The Poznań plant will have the capacity to recycle approximately 210,000 tonnes of waste a year. The gases released through combustion will be cleaned using filters which will detect and eliminate 99% of all dust and heavy metals. Some by-products will be used in the construction of roads whereas other waste products will be stored safely away. The cost of opening the facility, estimated at over PLN 725 million, is the largest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) investment in Poland. The construction will be co-financed by the European Union (PLN 352 million), the city of Poznań and a special company created to build and manage the plant, set up by the waste management company SITA in cooperation with Marguerite Fund, a fund specialising in financing PPPs. The investment has been lauded by experts at Project Finance Magazine. The plant has already been awarded the European Project Award for the new structure of funding which has brought innovation onto the Polish market. What is more, the financing structure has also been honoured by the European Commission, a good sign for other Polish cities. The EU prefers and often willingly co-finances PPP investments. Similar waste incineration plants are soon to be built in Łódź and Gdańsk with many other Polish cities soon to follow. In Germany and France, approximately 40% of municipal waste is incinerated while a further 40% is recycled. The rest is stored. However, in Poland 80% of waste is dumped in landfills.
biznes.newsweek.pl

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Poland Keeps Coal

February 25, 2014
Hope is not Lost

Hope is not Lost

Poland does not have to give up using coal in order to implement new regulations on preventing air pollution. However, this will not be achieved without costly investments in infrastructure. On the other hand, if the Polish government decides to invest then the European Commission will declare any government aid illegal and Poland will then face a rise in the price of energy. Polish deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Janusz Piechociński, declared at a meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP), to which both the Polish People’s Party (PSL) and Civic Platform (PO), government coalition partners, belong, that Poland does not intend to give up using coal as its primary source of energy. This is a key statement following the decision on investment in nuclear power. Nonetheless, Piechociński also highlighted the necessity to support investment in the development of environmentally-friendly technologies which would allow Poland to meet the EU regulations on the reduction of air pollution by 2020. This problem is obvious most in Kraków which is number three on the European Environment Agency list of most polluted cities in Europe. Despite guidelines on the reduction of hazardous substances in the air, the European Commission confirmed that they are not going to interfere in EU member state decisions on sources of energy. Dominique Ristori, Director General for Energy and Transport at the European Commission, admitted that member states should have the right to decide the scale of usage of renewable energy. The Commission, however, is going to introduce a motivation plan to provide an impetus for an increase in renewable energy. “Nowadays about 20% of total energy consumption in Europe comes from renewable energy sources. This is a good starting point,” says Ristori.
wyborcza.biz

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