Demographic change has faced the Euroregion Pomerania with considerable challenges in paediatric medicine for some time. Less children and the retirement of practising paediatricians have led to a low supply in paediatric healthcare. It is becoming increasingly difficult for smaller hospitals to employ paediatric specialists, as well as paediatric oncologists and paediatric haematologists. ‘Telemedicine makes it possible for specialised doctors to support paediatricians or general practitioners with the diagnosis and therapy options. Within the Euroregion Pomerania, such focussed clinics can be found at University Medicine Greifswald and the Pomeranian Medical University of Szczecin,’ states project manager Prof. Holger Lode, Managing Director of the Paediatrics Centre at University Medicine Greifswald.
‘In particular for children who are seriously ill with cancer, both of these institutions provide diagnostic and therapy possibilities that are not on offer elsewhere. With our planned centre, we would like to provide all of the region’s children with even faster access to the latest treatment methods and thus to better chances of healing.’ Furthermore, the ambitious project also plans to develop and implement cross-border training and continuous professional development courses, to carry out research in the field of paediatric oncology and to create a German-Polish expert forum for paediatric oncology.
15 Years of Experience with Telemedicine
In the past 15 years, a unique, cross-border telemedicine network has been set up, which joins the institutions in the north of both countries and has improved the medical healthcare in the Euroregion Pomerania. Using this as a foundation and being led by the University of Greifswald, the project proposal for the creation of a German-Polish centre for paediatric oncology and haematology was born, together with partners from the Pomeranian Medical University of Szczecin with its university hospital, the Paediatric Hospital of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and the Gesellschaft für Leben und Gesundheit mbH, which manages inpatient and outpatient facilities in the Uckermark and Barnim regions.
‘The long-term goal is to be able to treat patients from Germany and Poland at both [the University Hospital Greifswald and the Pomeranian Medical University of Szczecin], thus using the strengths of the respective institution,’ stressed Lode. ‘As currently conflicting legal regulations make cross-border treatment difficult, the partners are planning to commission a legal report. The results will then be discussed at the German-Polish Forum for Paediatric Oncology with representatives from politics and health insurance companies to try to make it possible to eradicate unnecessary hurdles in the cross-border collaboration, in the interest of children and youths who have cancer.’
University Medicine Greifswald (Project Management)
GLG Gesellschaft für Leben und Gesundheit mbH Eberswalde
Pomeranian Medical University of Szczecin
University Hospital of the Medical University of Szczecin
Jagiellonian University in Kraków
University Medicine Greifswald
Managing Director: Prof. Dr. med. Holger Lode
Sauerbruch-Straße, 17475 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 86 6301 and 86 6325