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2011 | 1 | 2 | 59-66

Article title

Analysis of nurse staffing and factors determining the demand for health care in Poland

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Introduction: Recent studies have indicated that an adequate nurse staffing in a hospital exerts an effect on both the level of health services provided and the safety of patients. Numerous reports confirm the shortage of nurses who, has been observed in almost all European countries, and may threaten the quality of health care. Purpose: The objective of the study is an analysis of nurse staffing and the factors which shape the demand for health care in Poland. Material and methods: The study was based on the analysis of scientific literature, legal acts and reports by Polish government and occupational organizations, which undertake the problem discussed. Results: For years, in Poland, a decrease has been observed in nurse staffing rates per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to 15 countries of the European Union. The factors which affect the nurse staffing rate in Poland include changes in the sector of health care and the vocational education of nurses. Simultaneously, the limitations in employment of nurses are accompanied by an increased demand for health services. Considering the shortages in nurse staffing, and an increase in the demand for health services, there is a necessity to undertake systemic actions, both on the national and European level. Conclusions: Systemic solutions are necessary to prevent a divergence between increasing public health care demand and limited or even decreasing number of nurses willing to work in the profession. Otherwise the realization of the health policy goals might be hindered.









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