Basic healthcare in Poland

The healthcare system in Poland is based on a public health insurance system which is represented by the National Health Fund (NFZ) and on the private healthcare benefits offered by the employer. The employer registers the new employee with the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) and pays for all necessary costs, for health and social insurances.

The insured person is obligated to register family members with the NFZ if they have no medical insurance. This includes:

  • spouses
  • children under the age of 18 or under the age of 26 in they continue their education or with no age limit (if a child is severely disabled)
  • parents and grandparents – if they stay in the same household as the insured

How does basic healthcare work in Poland?

Paying taxes for public healthcare gives people the right to use it for medical examinations, health protection, medical treatment, disease and continuous prevention, emergency medical care, surgery, etc.

It is good to know that health care facilities in Poland are either public or privately owned and you can use both of them. It is a common practice in many companies in Poland to cover private medical healthcare for their employees.
The standard of healthcare in Poland is high with well trained medical staff (many of whom speak excellent English) and excellent medical facilities.

The cost of medical care is much lower than that in the rest of Europe and a lot of people come to Poland to take advantage of this, especially for dentists.

Primary care is the day-to-day healthcare given by a health care provider. Typically this provider acts as the first contact and principal point of continuing care for patients within a healthcare system and coordinates other specialist care that the patient may need.

Patients commonly receive primary care from professionals such as a primary care physician (general practitioner or family physician), a nurse practitioner (adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, or pediatric nurse practitioner).

Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash
Photo by National Cancer Insitute on Unsplash

Public healthcare

Podstawowa Opieka Zdrowotna (POZ) – Basic health care

POZ is a medical point powered by NFZ. It is a medical entity that provides comprehensive care for people who have declared their willingness to use the services of a family doctor or another doctor who has the right to create an active list of patients. This means treatment and prevention of diseases, rehabilitation, as well as an adjudication on the state of health. For a health care center to become a primary care provider, it must also provide care for its health visitor and midwife. The patient is entitled to free primary health care (POZ) services as part of universal insurance. POZ, as part of the healthcare system, provides healthy and sick services in the place of residence and in the teaching and upbringing environment, on an outpatient or home basis. POZ services are focused on health promotion and prevention, disease prevention, disease diagnosis, treatment, prevention or reduction of disability, improvement as well as health care and education.

Services in primary health care are provided by:

  • primary care physician/family doctor (scope of services),
  • community/family nurse (range of services),
  • community/family midwife (range of services),
  • a nurse in a teaching and upbringing environment/school hygienist (scope of services).

In emergency situations, POZ GP should be available to his patients around the clock at a 24-hour care point (outpatient clinic and outpatient assistance), in his own practice or the practice of another establishment. In the event of his absence (vacation, illness), you may seek the assistance of a doctor appointed by him. The doctor may also indicate to patients a unit that will help on his behalf on days off from work, after clinic opening hours, and – if necessary – at the place of residence (e.g. on-call clinic, ambulance).

This information must be posted both inside and outside the premises in a prominent place where benefits are provided. Day and night medical travel assistance is ad hoc assistance (NOCh only in some special places).
NOCh – Night and holiday care of patients are only in choose placed in Tricity.

The patient may register with a primary care GP in person, by phone, or through third parties.

A patient who has chosen a primary care GP has laws to:

  • medical examinations and advice;
  • free diagnostic tests which are necessary to make the right therapeutic decision;
  • sanitary transport in cases of a need to transport a patient to a hospital, a specialist clinic, or a diagnostic examination during a home visit.

The very important thing is about dentists: full opportunities to take care of Your teeth You can only make only in a private way. From public funds, dentists could repair your firsts teeth. Another necessary medical procedure, e.g. root canal treatment, no longer reimbursed by the National Health Fund.

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Private healthcare

As mentioned earlier, healthcare in Poland is divided into public and private. Almost all employers in the Tricity offer private medical healthcare as a benefit. The private healthcare providers are very well equipped and offer many value-added services like patient portals and apps to provide access to lab results and booking of appointments. You also have the option of buying a subscription yourself Some of these are:

LuxMed

According to popular opinion, LuxMed is a good option for foreigners as they provide services in a few languages like English, German, Russian, Ukrainian and of course Polish. They have many different personalized packages to choose from and offer comprehensive medical, diagnostic, and rehabilitation services.

Medicover

According to many people, Medicover is a great option for those who speak Polish. Medicover has three centers in the Tricity; Gdańsk Forum, Gdańsk Olivia Business Centre, and Gdynia Sky Tower. Medicover has a big team of doctors and nurses who are working with modern equipment. They offer medical, diagnostic, and rehabilitation services.

ScanMed

They have only one place in Tricity – the Medical Centre next to GUMed on Maria Składowoska Curie St. Over there, You can use the services of 65 specialists, which makes them the service provider with the most choice.

SwissMed

SwissMed is offering their services in their hospital on Wileńska St in Gdansk and in smaller clinics across Gdansk. Unlike other private medical companies, at SwissMed you have a much shorter waiting time to visit the doctor.

EnelMed

EnelMed has only one place in Tricity, on Grunwaldzka St, next to Galeria Bałtycka. Another good thing is this, You can also use their services by NFZ, but You have to wait longer in line. They have very good specialists and modern equipment.

If you would like to find out more about a doctor or look for a doctor with high ratings, you can check out ZnanyLekarz.pl

As you can see Poland offers a great mix of private and public healthcare that ensures that you have fast access to world-class healthcare systems at the best cost.

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