This two-part article reviews the current legal situation of professional personnel implementing hyperbaric procedures other than those used for diving. Numerous inconsistencies between the existing legal acts and the lack of legal regulations concerning procedures not financed from the State budget are shown.
The first significant problem was the lack of mutual correlation of various regulations of the Minister of Health concerning hyperbaric diseases, as well as incoherence with medical and nursing specialisation programs in force in Poland.
The second problem is the lack of requirements in the documents of the Ministry of Health for medical staff other than doctors and nurses, including technical staff, necessary for the implementation of a safe oxybarotherapy procedure.
The situation is clearer with respect to technical personnel than in relation to medical personnel. There are provisions which strictly define the qualifications of such staff for a very narrow group of technical personnel. Although they deal with issues related to the use of hyperbaric chambers in diving, to date no other separate regulations have been developed for medical applications of hyperbaric therapy. Unfortunately, both in centres financed by the National Health Fund and in private centres, no-one observes these regulations because there is no such formal requirement.
The same applies to occupational research (occupational medicine) for all groups of personnel involved in hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments.
It was also found that medical hyperbaric centres not seeking funding from the budget (the National Health Fund) do not have even minimum qualification requirements for the medical staff working there. Furthermore, there is no knowledge of the requirements set out in other legal acts other than those concerning medicine.