11 February of the year is celebrated World Day of the Sick, which provides a special opportunity to express respect and appreciation to healthcare professionals, volunteers, family members, organisations and all those who selflessly dedicate themselves to the well-being of patients. On this occasion, on the initiative of the Institute for Patients' Rights and Health Education, the Forum of Patients' Organisations has been held in Warsaw every year since 2007, with the participation of more than 150 patient organisation leaders representing the voice of several hundred thousand patients from all over Poland.
The annual meeting held during the Forum with the participation of state health policy-makers, including the Minister of Health, the President of the NFZ, the Patient Ombudsman and public health experts, provides a platform for the integration of the patient organisation community and enables the leaders of individual organisations to draw attention to the biggest problems they face in their day-to-day activities. This is the largest conference of its kind aimed at patient leaders representing patients in various therapeutic areas. This makes the Forum an effective platform for the exchange of experienceś between organisations operating in different areas of health care and fosters discussion on systemic solutions to improve the quality of life of patients.
Patients' Organisations Forum is a meeting organised by us with the participation of representatives of patient organisations with the aim of integrating the environment and training the organisation's staff in the fields of communication, management, public health, financing, issues relevant to NGOs. The intention of the Forum is to initiate solutions that will improve systemic patient care. It is the largest conference of its kind aimed at patient leaders representing patients in various therapeutic areas. This makes the Forum an effective platform for the exchange of experiencé between organisations working in different areas of health care and fosters discussion on systemic solutions to improve the quality of life of patients.
WORLD SICK DAY (11.02)
The day was established by Pope John Paul II on 13 May 1992, on the 11th anniversary of the attempt on his life, and the daýs date was set for 11 February. World Day of the Sick encourages efforts to alleviate the suffering of those struggling with illness. It also emphasiseṡ that suffering is a kind of trial in life, which is difficult to cope with́ on one's own. Adequate medical care alone is not enough, but a sincere heart shown by another person is needed. Selfless, self-sacrificinǵ and fraternal love care for a person̨ in need of our interest is not only an irreplaceablę form of therapy for the sick person himself, but also aṅ opportunity to discover valuable humanistic and spiritual values in ourselves.
NATIONAL CARERS' DAY (12.02)
The role of the carer in the recovery process of a person who is ill is invaluable. Despite this, until now there has not been a day in the calendars to acknowledge the dedication and express gratitude to these people. On the initiative of eight patient organisations, a National Carers' Day has been established and will be celebrated for the first time this year. The intention of the initiators of this day is to draw attention to the problems and needs of carers and to thank them for their support.
The date on which this day was established was not chosen by chance. 12 February falls the daý after the celebration of World Day of the Sick, which draws attention̨ to patients and their problems in illness. The establishment of the National Carer's Day aims to highlight the unique relationship that links the sick person with their carer and to emphasise the huge role of the carer in the illness and recovery process. It is also a call for increased activitieś education and real assistance that can imprové quality of life and make it easieŕ to care for sick loved ones.
Organisations that signed a joint declaration to mark the day include the Institute for Patients' Rights and Health Education, the Polish Coalition of Oncology Patients Foundation, the Mazovian Association of People with Parkinson's Disease, the "OnkoCafe - Together Better" Foundation, the EuropaColon Poland Foundation, the Federation of Amazon Associations, the Alivia Oncology Foundation and the "Appetite for Life" Association.