Before studying abroad, it is imperative that international students have adequate health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay. You don’t want to be caught off guard if the unexpected should happen and you become ill or injured while you are abroad. If you have to receive health care treatments while in Poland, you will be treated on the same basis as a Polish resident. However, remember that every country’s health system is different and you may not receive the all of the treatment you might expect free of charge from the NHS. You may be required to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care. For this reason, it is best to have adequate health insurance for the duration of your stay in Poland. Health insurance for foreigners in Poland depends largely on their country of origin.
The health care system in Poland is based on a general health insurance system. Subsidized health services are provided to Polish residents that are covered by the general health insurance. This can be either on a compulsory or a voluntary basis. The standard of public health care in Poland is high; medical staff are extremely well trained. The Ministry of Health is in charge of policy overall and the National Health Fund (NHF), aided by its regional branches, manages the health care insurance scheme.
If you are an EU national in Poland who holds a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or an E-111 form, you are able to receive free public health care. This includes access to primary care, specialist out-patient care, hospital treatment, dental treatment, and ambulance transport. Emergency treatment and treatment in the case of sudden illnesses are generally free of charge. In some cases you may be asked to pay upfront, but try not to do so. If you do have to pay, make sure you receive a proper receipt with every treatment listed.
Due to a bilateral agreement between Poland and Great Britain, British citizens may get free national health service treatment in Poland. However, this agreement does not cover all services, so you will most likely want to purchase additional health insurance before your trip. Students from some additional countries, including Sweden and Slovakia, can also take advantage of Polish health services free of charge, while Czech students can use it in case of an emergency or a sudden illness.
If you are an international student from a non-EU country, you should purchase health insurance before your trip to Poland. International students are required to present proof of adequate health insurance coverage when applying for a student visa.
Many people in Poland - both citizens and foreigners alike - use a combination of public and private health care. This is due to perceived inadequacies in the public health care system. Wait times for public health care tend to be long, and the facilities may not be quite what international students are used to.