Poland

In emergencies call 112 or 999 (ambulance) to obtain help.


Accessing care

You can obtain medically necessary treatment by presenting the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), when you are temporarily staying in Poland. Medically necessary treatment refers to treatment that cannot wait for your return home. You may need such treatment in case of acute illness or accident. You can also receive treatment related to pregnancy and childbirth or to a chronic illness. The need for treatment must emerge during the course of your stay. If your illness requires regular treatment while you are temporarily staying abroad, contact the health care provider abroad in advance and agree on arranging the treatment. Treatments that need to be arranged in advance include, for example, dialysis, oxygen therapy, specialised care of asthma and chemotherapy as well as echocardiography in chronic autoimmune diseases.

You will receive treatment on the same terms and at the same price as the locals by presenting your European Health Insurance Card. It is advisable to carry copies of your European Health Insurance Card with you, along with the card itself. If you didn’t have your EHIC with you or it was not accepted, and you were required to pay all the costs of treatment yourself, you might be able to apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively.

Sudden illness

Doctor

See a general practitioner who has an agreement with the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia, NFZ). You can ask NFZ regional offices to provide you with the contact information of places of treatment that have an agreement with NFZ. You can identify these by the logo NFZ. If you need a specialist, you can consult one if you have a general practitioner´s referral. Exceptions are gynaecologist, obstetricians, dentists, specialists in sexually transmitted diseases (venerologist), oncologists and psychiatrists, who you can consult without a referral from a general practitioner.

When you show your European Health Insurance Card, and an ID at the appointment is treatment free of charge. General practitioner’s surgeries are generally open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Outside office hours, weekends and on holidays, 24-hour medical treatment is provided by healthcare providers contracted to the NFZ whose contact information is available from NFZ´s regional offices or you can find them with a search engine at NFZ website (in Polish).

Dentist

See a dentist who has a contract with the NFZ. Present your European Health Insurance Card at the appointment.

Health insurance only includes a limited amount of free dental care. In addition, only some of the procedures performed by the dentist and the materials used are free of charge for patients. You can get a list of free services and materials determined by the Ministry of Health from dentists’ offices. You pay for services and materials outside the list yourself.

Medication

A prescription can be issued by a doctor or other healthcare professional entitled to issue prescription.

For most basic medication, you will pay a lump sum. Other medications are reimbursed in different rates. Some medications are not reimbursed at all.

In Poland, prescriptions are issued electronically. If you don’t have the Patient Internet Account, you need to ask your doctor to print out the e-prescription information form, and present it in a pharmacy together with the document entitling you to treatment.

In Poland, e-prescriptions are valid for

  • 30 days for normal medicines and OTC medicines
  • 7 days for antibiotics
  • 120 days for immunological medicines
  • 365 days for medicine for chronic diseases.

To be valid for one year, the e-prescription requires an appropriate annotation by the doctor. Note that if your e-prescription is valid for one year, the first portion must be purchased within 30 days from the date the e-prescription is issued. You can stock up on medicine for up to six months in advance.

Hospital treatment

In order to obtain hospital treatment, you generally need a doctor´s referral. In emergencies, you can go directly to a hospital´s emergency room (SOR). You will receive treatment free of charge at NFZ´s hospitals when you present your European Health Insurance Card and ID.

You will also receive ambulance transport free of charge with a valid European Health Insurance Card in case of an emergency.

If your illness requires you to use special transport when returning to Finland, you will be liable for the travel costs in their entirety. You are recommended to take out a travel insurance that covers these costs.

Read more about suddenly falling ill in Europe.

Read more about reimbursement of costs of treatment abroad.

Useful websites

If you want to travel to Poland to use healthcare services there, you should read our website for general information about seeking treatment abroad.  If you have any questions about healthcare in Poland, contact the National Contact Point of Poland.

The National Contact Point of Poland can help you find a health care provider. More information is available on the website of the National Contact Point of Poland. You can get information about health care based on social security coordination in the European Union from the Polish National Health Fund by contacting them directly by e-mail ca17(at)nfz.gov.pl or by calling +48 22 572 62 68. You can also ask the regional divisions for more information (site in Polish).

You can find addresses of health care providers from NFZ’s website (in Polish). You can find more information about healthcare in Poland in English on the website of National Health Fund of Poland (NFZ).

Quality and safety of treatment

In Poland, the standards for the quality and safety of healthcare and the ethical principles of the provision of treatment are established by law. The Polish National Health Fund ensures that healthcare service providers in the public system comply with agreements. Comprehensive information about the quality and supervision of healthcare has been compiled on the website of the National Contact Point of Poland.

In the event of treatment injuries, the legislation and patient insurance of the country providing the treatment is always applied. In case you are unhappy with the treatment you received, you should primarily try to sort the matter out with the treatment provider. The national contact point can help you with finding the right authority if you wish to make a complaint.

Healthcare system

Poland has a decentralized health system based on mandatory public health insurance. The stewardship, management and financing of the system are divided between the Ministry of Health, the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia, NFZ) and territorial self-governments. The NFZ is responsible for financing health care services and agrees on the organisation of health services with both public and private service providers. Private service providers can also be used through public health services, as long as the service providers have an agreement with NFZ.

Private service providers handle a large part of basic and outpatient care. Public operators provide the majority of inpatient care in hospitals and other institutions and the rest is provided by private service providers.