The law on health care for students – what will change?

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This act is extremely important for the health of Polish children. Thanks to it, every primary and secondary school across the country will have a dentist, as well as a nurse or hygienist at their disposal.

“The Minister of Health undertakes activities related to prevention and health promotion. Thanks to them, the health care system will be more effective, and children will be safer in schools, ”said Deputy Health Minister Józefa Szczurek-Żelazko during today’s conference.

So far, the issues of preventive health care for students have been scattered throughout many legal acts of various rank. For the first time, the Act of April 12, 2019 addresses this issue as a whole and sets uniform standards. The new law provides every student of public schools – primary and secondary – with the opportunity to benefit from the care of a nurse and a dentist. It also precisely defines the principles of cooperation and information exchange between medical staff, parents, school management and the authorities running the facility. It also guarantees the student’s health-related rights. In this way, we meet the long-standing postulate of coordinating care for children in schools. At the same time, we implement our promises and announcements made in this area, reliably responding to the needs.

Nursing offices

The body running the school, i.e. the relevant local government authority, will provide students with the possibility of using a preventive health care unit run by a nurse or hygienist. Such a practice should, as a rule, operate in every school. In the absence of a preventive health care unit at school, the nurse may provide care in the place specified in the contract for the provision of healthcare services, i.e. in the Primary Healthcare clinic. Then the nurse carries out some activities at school, e.g. health education, fluoridation, and preventive examinations – in the primary care office.

In 2017, the state budget provided funds for the establishment and equipment of preventive health care centers in schools. Thanks to these funds, more than 9 thousand. offices, including 1251 completely new ones.

Dental offices

The act also introduces an obligation to provide students with the possibility of using dental care. If the school does not have a dentist’s office, the governing body concludes an agreement with the cooperating entity – an external office providing dental services for children, financed from public funds.

“We guarantee dental care, completely free of charge, to every student. The dentist will host the student in an office set up at the school, or in a nearby clinic with which the school will cooperate. In the latter case, the student will be admitted out of sequence, ”added Deputy Minister Józefa Szczurek-Żelazko.

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