The project addresses the question of ageism, which is discrimination against the elderly in access to proper treatment in Poland. One example of this is the problem of multiple medication. When treatment is provided by a number of specialists and between two and ten medications are taken daily which are often incompatible, this can have a grave effect on elderly people’s health. There is no integrated approach to the elderly in the Polish healthcare service, and the number of geriatric facilities per elderly person is the lowest in Europe.
The project proposes monitoring of the healthcare system with respect to the practice of pharmacological treatment of the elderly and discrimination against the elderly as regards access to medical services. The results of the monitoring will be published in a report and used for advocacy and awareness-raising measures. The project envisages creation of a National Expert Committee for Elderly and Geriatric Patient Rights (Krajowy Komitet Ekspertów ds. Praw Pacjenckich Seniorów i Geriatrii). This Committee will draw up recommendations and legislation for the medical community. Members of medical and patient organizations, organized into a consultation team, will be directly involved in the process of drawing up the recommendations and legislation. In addition, an awareness campaign will be conducted, consisting of awareness-raising activities, a brochure, webinars, press conferences, and expert symposia. A handbook will be produced for physicians, which will also be available as a smartphone application. Measures will also be taken to have legislation passed at central level to enforce elderly patients’ rights.