Every year, Polish health care is developing and available forms of treatment are at European level. However, this does not change the fact that you have to wait for months to get to a specialist doctor for a free visit. The vast majority of treatments is performed here for free, as long as it has health insurance. How to buy them and what facilities does it cover?
NFZ is a must have
To be able to use the standard free treatment in Poland, it is necessary to have insurance in the National Health Fund. They can be obtained if you are legally working with any Polish entrepreneur, because it is usually from employee’s salary that he sends contributions to the NFZ.
If you do not have a contract of employment, another way is voluntary insurance in NFZ. Then, the contributions are paid monthly, and their size is determined by the average remuneration in the enterprise sector, including payments from profit. In August 2018 it amounted to PLN 433.
To insure yourself voluntarily, you should go to the NFZ branch that includes the city where you are registered. It is necessary to have a valid passport and one of the following documents:
- visas for the purpose of performing work,
- temporary or permanent residence permit or tolerated,
- permission to stay for humanitarian reasons or the use of temporary protection in its territory.
When you do not meet any of the above conditions, you can not use free healthcare in Poland. However, there are still no obstacles to choosing a doctor. An exemplary price for an internist visit is PLN 50, an eye test costs about PLN 200, and hospitalization due to an accident can amount to PLN 10,000. So let’s try to get insurance.
Who accepts under the NFZ?
Doctors in Poland are obliged to perform part of their work under the National Health Fund, which is why the majority of specialists or primary care physicians operate free of charge (they receive payment from contributions paid to the NFZ and not directly from patients). This means that it should not be a problem to find a doctor from various areas who will be able to do the treatment for free.
IMPORTANT! In Poland, many medicines are refunded, so that their price is lower than the original one, but you still have to pay for it. Some specialist medications do not have such a reduction and the cost of buying them can be huge.
The hospital and the doctor cooperate with the National Health Fund (NFZ), which is visible thanks to the white and blue plate, which is hung in a visible place outside the building. Sometimes, however, it may turn out that only some of the staff work free of charge. Information on prices, work within the National Health Fund and admission hours are often available on the website of a given clinic or hospital, and must be posted at the registration desk.
However, you have to remember that getting free treatment often requires a lot of time, which in the case of urgent diseases or accidents, significantly hinders normal functioning. For example, you must wait about three months for an appointment with an ENT specialist, a month at the gynecologist, and even half a year at the endocrinologist.