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Healthcare and Medical Treatment

Poland - Healthcare and Medical Treatment

The Polish healthcare system is state-financed through the National Health Fund (NFZ), to which everyone working in Poland is required to contribute. Employee contributions are deducted direct from salaries by employers, while the self-employed are required to make their own contributions direct to the NFZ. In 2005 contributions were 8.5 % of salary, less social insurance payments.

People who are covered by the national health insurance system, and their dependents, are entitled to free primary health care, specialist out-patient care, hospital treatment, dental treatment and ambulance transport. They are required to present their medical insurance card when seeking treatment. All EU nationals visiting Poland who hold an E-111 form are also provided with free healthcare.

Standards of medical care are adequate in Poland, although hospital facilities are of a lower standard than in many Western countries. Emergency services may be lacking in some rural areas. Most specialist forms of healthcare are available in the larger cities. It is acceptable to approach specialists direct without a GP referral. For foreign nationals not covered by the national insurance scheme, immediate cash payment may be required by some doctors.

All types of medicines are widely available in Poland, and the main cities have drugstores which open 24 hours a day.

Added March 2007 by Ania:
I cannot agree with the part about standards of care in Poland. I always got the best healthcare in Poland, we have very good hospitals and doctors and medical equipment, we do not have any problems with the Emergency system. When you call, an ambulance with doctors and equipment will be at your home within 5-20 minutes. I live in The Netherlands now and I feel that Poland has really better medical support than The Netherlands. You can be very sick here and doctors say that you will be better soon. Poland is not an under-developed country.

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