From the history of the self-government of physicians and dentists

One of the first ideas that stimulated medical circles after Poland gained Independence in 1918 was the creation of an independent self-governing organization. (...) Other European countries were taken as examples; suggestions of scientific medical associations and social - professional organizations were discussed. The importance of the self-governing bodies of physicians was emphasized. They were supposed to undertake mutual actions with the representatives of the Polish government and local self-governing institutions aiming at determining the programme of public health care in independent Poland. The law of the Polish parliament of 2nd December 1920 created legal basis for establishing the self-government of physicians in the form of physicians' chambers. Due to the introduction of law of 1938, chambers of dentists were formed.

Medical circles acting in Poland in the years of 1944-1945 had the same expectations. The words of democracy, equality and observance of the law seemed to be conductive to the revival of the self-governing bodies of physicians, which in some places acted in conspiracy even in the times of German occupation. The first decisions seemed to confirm that the creation of chambers of physicians and dentists was only a matter of time and organizational skills of people actively engaged in the issue.

It soon appeared that the verbal declarations failed to meet actions, and words were just elements of a political game. Truly independent autonomy was contradictory to the assumptions of the totalitarian state. In spite of official declarations, self-governing bodies of physicians did not receive full approval or support from central state authorities or the majority of province authorities. The assumptions of self-government of physicians were contrary to the intention of subordination of all professional groups of health care workers to one ruling institution of health care workers trade union.

The judgment on the self-government of physicians and dentists was pronounced in 1948, and it was executed in 1950. (...)

Tradition is a value which cannot be overestimated. Medical chambers of physicians and dentists, which revived in 1989, create another link of history reaching long-ago times.

Author: Jerzy B. Kos., Title: "Without full approval or support" published in "Medium" - Bulletin of the regional chamber of physicians and dentists in Wroclaw, April 2000, excerpts.

Celebration Ceremony of the 15th Anniversary of Reestablishment of the Chambers of Physician and Dentists in Poland Cracow, 7 January 2005