Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Poland’s hospitals ‘ticking biological time bombs!’

HIV, hepatitis, TB and dozens of other types of viruses and bacteria have been discovered in the sewerage systems of a hospital in Gdansk, northern Poland. A lack of effective sewage treatment plants in hospitals are commonplace across the entire country, alarms the Polska daily.

And it’s not just hospital patients who are at risk. Since the beginning of this year, at least one water supply network has been closed down in Poland due to contamination of the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria from hospital sewers. The probability that the bacteria will hit one of the biggest Polish cities is very high. Polish epidemiologists have no doubt that Polish hospitals are a ticking biological time bombs and a disaster waiting to happen, writes the newspaper.

The new draft media reform bill in its present shape gives politicians an instrument to exert yet more pressure on public radio and television, a media expert from Warsaw University, Maciej Mrozowski, is quoted in today’s Rzeczpospolita daily.

The new controversial draft bill, completely discrediting the current law, proposes an utterly new system of funding and control of public media may be more detrimental than the present system, says Mrozowski. In particular, the expert’s main cause for concern is the lack of transparency when financing public broadcasters from the state budget and exercising control via newly- establisher regulators dependent on the authorities, writes Rzeczpospolita.

On the positive side, the concept of programming licences, based of the French idea, and a merger of public radio and television stations, presently too disintegrated on the regional level, are the only good ideas proposed by the new law, in the expert’s view.

The Polish Justice Ministry wants to close down dozens of courts employing less than ten judges each, informs the left-wing Trybuna daily.

If the Ministry’s idea, bitterly criticised by the Polish Judges Association “Iustitia”, comes into force, access to courts, especially among the Poles living in rural areas and small towns, will be drastically impeded.

According to “Iustitia” member, judge Waldemar Zurek, if the shortage of judges in Poland is not remedied soon, “we will have to begin employing student judges to pass verdicts, which would be disastrous”, we read in Trybuna.