Poland needs to fight other diseases, not only Covid, PM says

Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has said the Polish healthcare system must restore its ability to fight other illnesses despite the continuing coronavirus epidemic.

The prime minister was speaking at an inauguration meeting of the new Covid-19 Medical Council on Wednesday.

Most members of the previous council, who used to advise the government on how to handle the coronavirus epidemic, resigned complaining they had had little influence on the government's Covid-19 policy.

Morawiecki said that Poland must now "address healthcare issues... that have been overshadowed by Covid-19."

Among areas that needed reinforcement, the prime minister named heart disease, cancer and diabetes, saying that they are "the main diseases that Polish society suffers from."

Turning to psychological problems, Morawiecki said that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the psychological condition of children and youth.

"These lockdowns, this working online in education must have had a negative influence on our children and youth," the prime minister said.

Poland has declined to introduce tougher coronavirus restrictions during the previous and current wave of the coronavirus pandemic despite calls for stronger vaccination incentives and Covid-19 certificates to be made mandatory in public spaces.

Some members of the ruling party openly question the rationale behind any vaccination regime, and the government says that Polish society is not ready for tough measures similar to those introduced in some Western European countries.