OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE IN POLAND
Polish Society of Occupational Medicine (PTMP) was set up in 1969 and it gathers about 2000 members, mainly physicians specialized in occupational medicine. It is supported regionally by a group structure arranged in geographical regions. The main goals of the Society are:
- enhancement of the scientific basis of occupational medicine and harmful effects of work environment
- co-participation in creating employees’ health prophylaxis strategies
- development of the Society members’ professional and scientific qualifications
- co-participation in designing of the postgraduate training in occupational medicine programs
- development and implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
Poland has a population of 38.5 million people of which 24.2 million are in the working age (15-64). The active working population is approx. 16 million people.
From a legal point of view, the main stakeholders for health and safety at work in Poland are:
- Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs responsible for issues related to occupational safety and hygiene (including the transposition of the majority of the EU OSH directives).
- The Ministry of Health responsible for issues related to occupational health (medicine) and the monitoring of the occupational medicine service.
- The State Labour Inspection plays a significant surveillance role by checking whether or not the employers fulfil their OSH obligations. The Inspection also conducts awareness-raising campaigns on OSH.
According to the Polish legislation, every employment must be preceded by the performance of a compulsory medical examination. Following such an examination, a certified physician issues a certificate, which states whether or not there are any contraindications for one to perform work at a particular post. This rule applies to all workers and workplaces, irrespective of the working conditions. The costs of medical examinations are borne by the employers.
There are approx. 6700 physicians entitled to perform employees’ periodical health screening in Poland. Only 48,4% of them are physicians specialized in occupational medicine.
Some of them work in joined occupational medicine services and some of them as self-employed occupational medicine physicians. They can also work in an in-house company service.
There is a 5-year postgraduate training for occupational medicine physicians (3-year elementary module – common for various specializations and 2-year specialist training). One becomes a specialist in occupational medicine after passing a national exam.
Polskie Towarzystwo Medycyny Pracy
ul. sw. Teresy od Dzieciatka Jezus 8
91-348 Lodz, Poland