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Indices are tools for stimulating changes

As clinicians, we keep doing comparisons. We compare ourselves with the rest of Europe and with the USA. We compare even other countries between themselves, such as the USA, Japan, Australia, and European countries, which generally differ significantly. When making these analyses, we always wonder what could be implemented to improve our own healthcare system.

Polish internist and nephrologist doctor, academic teacher, professor of medical science, director of the Postgraduate Medical Education Center in Warsaw. Since 2004, he has been professionally associated with the Bielanski Hospital and Medical Center of Postgraduate Education in Warsaw, where he is head of the Nephrology and Internal Diseases Clinic. A member of scientific societies, including the Polish Society of Nephrology and the Polish Society for Intensive Interdisciplinary Therapy (founding member). He is the national consultant on the field of nephrology. Author and co-author of over 200 publications. Decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and Gold Cross of Merit.


Thanks to the Breast Cancer Index and Healthcare Sustainability Index, it is now possible to enforce regulatory bodies and healthcare managers to introduce changes. These indices are key arguments that show what we should expect to be changed, define changes and discuss any possible actions with healthcare managers, to improve our country’s results when compared to other countries. The indices offer an enormous advantage as they simultaneously demonstrate three different dimensions: population health, our system’s ability to introduce changes and its ability to generate innovations. The indices enable us to find the best solutions and translate them into our own context.

I represent the nephrology environment where 90% of patients are not aware they are sick. More people suffer from kidney diseases than diabetes. However, once patients discover they are ill, the access to healthcare facilities become extraordinarily important to them.

My patients are on dialysis three times a week and, at each time, they have to be able to get to a hospital. The distance between a treatment facility and the place of residence is of key importance to them. Among others, the quality of life is dependent on this distance. This measure is what we as doctors, take into great account, as paradoxically, it is often influenced not only by factors such as type of the drug administered and accessibility to healthcare facilities but also by the consistency of information provided by doctors and nurses. If patients hear contradictory messages continuously, they will lose their trust not only towards particular medical staff, but towards the entire healthcare system. The patients stop to believe in what they are told, which is detrimental to everyone.

We are also well aware of the fact that patient’s experience is also dependent on the competencies of healthcare facilities and doctors. This must be evaluated too. We are ready for an evaluation and we believe that it would be a fair measure to improve the current situation of our healthcare system. There is no doubt that each clinician should be the best at what they do - if I would be a patient, I wouldn’t like to be treated by a doctor who has self-doubts regarding his/her own knowledge or skills. We, as doctors, keep asking ourselves how we can do our job better, and we keep looking for answers to questions that are plaguing us. Thanks to the discussion started after the publication of the indices, we can collectively reflect and analyze the biggest downsides of our healthcare system and consider which of the European models could be applied in our country.

Thanks to the discussion started after the publication of the indices, we can collectively reflect and analyze the biggest downsides of our healthcare system and consider which of the European models could be applied in our country.

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