For healthcare without borders: In Pl, DE, in the World.
The Polish-German framework agreement on cross-border medicine was signed by the two neighboring countries more than a decade ago. New perspectives opened up after Poland’s accession to the European Union. Nevertheless, all the administrative regions on both sides of the border rivers, Oder and Neisse, have to implement their own agreements that will make the border finally cease to exist for patients and paramedics!
Until the Polish-German framework agreement came into force, there was still a life-and-death line on the border. The Mediciner – Healthcare Association e.V. was established seven years ago as a response to special needs in health care at the border of countries and health care systems. Joanna Józefiak, founder and president of the Association, has been educating and implementing innovative cross-border solutions in medicine for years. Because in a life-threatening situation, when seconds count, there should be no border that prevents effective treatment.
Cross-border medicine, old challenges and new opportunities
The President of the Association, Joanna Jozefiak, has been working for years with experts, medics and decision-makers to create and implement cross-border solutions in medicine, public health, long-term care, and telemedicine. Joanna Jozefiak is also vice president of the Polish-German medical center Brandmed, located on the Polish side of the border. This facility, located in the vicinity of the border bridge in Slubice, has no-strings-attached contracts with Germany’s largest health insurance companies, AOK Nordost and Barmer, to treat patients outside the country. This allows cross-border workers to work in Germany and be treated in Poland, or live in Germany and be treated in Poland.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Joanna Jozefiak coordinated cross-border actions and organized assistance in securing critical medical infrastructure in both countries, including organizing test sites on the Polish-German border on behalf of Brandenburg’s Interior Ministry. She was also a member of the working group developing the Polish-German agreement on emergency medical services. She is also a panelist at prestigious international events. Mrs. Jozefiak is the first Polish woman with the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) international negotiation certificate, which she completed in the United States. She gained negotiation and crisis management experience in the US, Poland and Germany.
Over the past few years, the border between Poland and Germany in providing medical assistance has become increasingly blurred. However, there is a long way to go before the harmonization of medical services or full patient mobility. For health care, as an integral part of social policy, remains the domain of nation states. All the more reason why cross-border examples of good cooperation (best practice) are extremely important for the creation of standards throughout the European Union.
Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Mediciner has stood in solidarity with victims of the onslaught to organize humanitarian medical aid for the beleaguered.