Ruling party presents new COVID-19 bill

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party has proposed a new bill aimed at preventing crisis situations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will be debated during Tuesday’s parliamentary sitting of Poland’s Lower House.

The Prime Minister’s Office has stated that the bill is to ensure legal immunity for doctors fighting the pandemic. Moreover, doctors, paramedics, and nurses working with COVID-19 patients will receive a 100 percent monthly bonus and will receive 100 percent of their salary during quarantine.

On Monday, the country’s Health Minister, Adam Niedzielski said that the new law will, among other things, exempt doctors who commit an unintentional mistake in the treatment of COVID-19 patients from criminal liability.

He also announced that temporary hospitals will be set up in each of Poland’s 16 provinces, the private health sector, foreign doctors, doctors-residents, and the Polish Armed Forces will help fight the epidemic.

The first temporary hospitals will be set up in the Mazowieckie, Małopolskie, and Wielkopolskie provinces. Warsaw’s National Stadium is already being transformed into a field hospital. “To start with we are taking into consideration empty buildings that once served as hospitals and exhibition halls,” the minister said.

Minister Niedzielski also informed the public that out of 15,000 beds currently allocated to COVID-19 patients, 60 percent are taken. On Sunday, there were 8,375 occupied beds, and 672 operating respirators. District hospitals will be prepared to serve primarily patients with coronavirus infection. Mr Niedzielski also said that the ministry has opened discussions with the largest private healthcare companies operating in Poland. Soldiers are to replace medical staff at drive-through testing stations.

The health minister said that in the coming week Poland will face between 15 and 20 thousand new cases daily.