Health care

Doctors, hospitals and pharmacies

Health care

Poland has a reasonably modern healthcare system and treatment is available for most health conditions. You should ensure you are covered under the national system or have private health insurance to cover costs.

As an insured person you will get a health insurance book, which you have to present at the medical centre or in case of emergency. You also have to register at your local health centre (przychodnia), stating you will receive treatment predominantly from that location. A doctor in your local centre will refer you to a specialist or a hospital if this is necessary.

In case of a medical emergency you can get a treatment anywhere.

Specialists in Poland

If you need specialist treatment, you will normally need to obtain a referral of a general doctor. However, you do not need a referral to go to one of the following specialists:

  • dentists
  • dermatologists
  • gynaecologists
  • oncologists
  • ophthalmologists

In addition, for chronic conditions there is no need to obtain a referral.

Hospitals in Poland

In case of an emergency you should immediately go to a hospital. You will receive immediate help, even without sufficient health insurance coverage. However you may have to pay for the treatment afterwards. For any in-patient care treatments you will, again, need a referral from your doctor.

If it is not possible to go to a hospital you can call the EU emergency number 112. As well as their native Polish, the operators also speak English.

Dental treatment in Poland

If you need dental treatment in Poland, you will have to cover the majority of the associated costs by yourself. If you have a European Health Insurance Card, you may receive some free dental services in Poland. Note that it usually only includes emergency treatments.

Rescue services and ambulance transport

A person that is entitled to health care under EU/EEA rules receives free rescue services and ambulance transport in case of an accident, injury, childbirth, sudden illness or sudden deterioration of the state of health.

Pharmacies and medication

Medical prescriptions can be redeemed in all pharmacies by presenting the prescription form. The amount you pay for prescribed medication ranges from little or nothing for standard treatments to 30-50% of the cost. The addresses of the pharmacies can be found in local press or on the internet. There are pharmacies that are open 24-hours a day in every city.

Further reading

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