In first quarter of 1999 there was a protest organised by Trade Union of Anesthesiologists. The only purpose of the protest was rising their salaries. In answer to appeal of the union, considerably part of anesthesiologist dismissed. Others were denying performing anaesthesia in cases where patient's life was not in direct danger. This denial also included patients with cancer and children.

We are presenting demographic data showing influence of anesthesiologist strike on increased amount of deaths. That data, prepared by Polish Main Statistical Bureau, shows that in first quarter of 1999 the amount of deaths were higher at about 17% ( 16000 deaths more ) from quarterly average. So big differance can not be an effect of statistical disperse. The strike have broken down the right to health protection guaranteed by article 68 of Polish Constitution.

The protest was finished by the beginning of March 1999, a few days after directed by our association a letter to a local prosecutor in Warsaw. In that letter we were applying for beginning activities against Trade Union of Anesthesiologists according to article 36 of the Trade Unions Law. This proceeding can finished in delegalization of a trade union, which breaks the law. In June 1999, many months after the conclusion of the protest, we have obtained a muttering answer from Warsaw Prosecury. The prosecutor has denied to undertake any activity. As a reason, they stated that anesthesiologists which refused to perform their duties have earlier dismissed. And that dismissions were the effect of Trade Union of Anesthesiologists appeal.

Article 58 of Polish Constitution prohibits activities of any organisation, which harms constitutional rights. The Consitution is the base for all other laws. With no doubt the prosecutors of Warsaw Prosecury know about it. This is a scandal that administration of justice tolerates situation in which trade unions are breaking down constitutional rights. Presented by Warsaw Prosecury argumentation creates dangerously precedent allowing on spreading lawless.

Our association has appealed to minister of justice and members of Parliament to begin activities to protect against such situations in future. Also it is necessary to bring to justice the personnel of Warsaw Prosecury responsible for tollerating lawless. Because of such stand of things 16000 our citizens lost their lifes.

dr Adam Sandauer
(chairman of the association)

   Increased amount of deaths during the protest of anesthesiologists,
   A letter to public prosecury, after which the strike of anesthesiologists finished (in polish)

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