Poland’s health care system centers around an all-inclusive insurance scheme, and the state provides subsidized health care to all Polish citizens who are covered by the general health insurance. There are a number of private hospitals across the nation where you can seek medical attention if you do not wish to be treated in a public facility.
The standard of public health care in Poland is adequate, although international students may find that many of the hospitals are of a slightly lower standard than they are used to. The best medical institutions are publicly owned, and in the case of complicated surgeries are often the only choice; there are often no private options for cancer cases, for instance.
Facilities and treatment in Poland are generally better in larger cities, and emergency services are typically less reliable in the more rural areas. In addition, Poland has a smaller number of doctors than many countries with similar population sizes, and the majority of the doctors can be found in the major cities.
There are generally long waits to see doctors in Poland. These wait times can vary, but it is a good idea to make an appointment in advance. If you need urgent care, you can go to the doctor’s surgery on speculation, but you should be prepared for a long wait.
Health centers provide outpatient care and offer a wide variety of specialist services. Some medical services provided by health centers in Poland include: general practice, maternity care, child health care, and dental care. The health centers in Poland are staffed by qualified doctors and nurses.
Independent office-based doctors and specialists provide many private practices in Poland. The premises, equipment, and personnel are funded by the doctors themselves and through private insurance contributions. More people in Poland use private health care than in any other EU member state; this is largely due to the perceived inadequacies of the public health care system. Most foreigners in Poland use private health care to supplement the public sector, thus avoiding the long waits and bureaucracy of the public health care system.
Dental care in Poland is excellent; in fact, many people come to the country specifically for dental care, as it is also much cheaper than in Western Europe. Some dentals treatments are available through the state health care system, such as routine visits and check-ups. For more detailed dental treatment like crowns and bridges, citizens must pay themselves.
Emergency care in Poland is available free for everyone, including those without state health insurance. However, you should be aware that it is generally not on par with Western Europe. Additionally, time delays between calling the emergency services and receiving treatment are significantly longer. Emergency treatment is provided at the emergency room of some large hospitals in the cities, but if you are not close to a city your GP is obliged by law to treat you at home.