Health & safety -
Citizens of all countries excluding Great Britain should buy themselves appropriate assurance
before going to Poland. By the force of a bilateral agreement between Poland and Great Britain
British citizens in a snap case may use free of charge the national heath service. However, it
is better to buy the insurance, because not every services are listed in the agreement, besides
an accident may happen in the way to Poland.
While crossing the Polish border no protective inoculations are needed. Water from the faucet is
safe to drink, although most of tourists prefer bottled mineral water. Polish drugstores are
equipped with drugs of all kinds. In the cities it is possible to communicate with the personnel
in English or German. Having prescriptions from the country of residence will certainly facilitate
buying necessary drugs. In every city there is at least one drugstore open 24 hours a day. The
addresses of the drugstores can be found in local press. With more serious problem you should go
to a hospital, which will do any necessary explorations and will render any necessary help. In
larger cities also function (much more expensive than hospitals) private clinics.
Poland has the health care system based on general health insurance.
Access to health care in Poland during a temporary stay
During a temporary stay in Poland, a person entitled to health care under EEA rules can receive
health services in the following areas:
* primary health care
* specialist out-patient care
* hospital treatment
* dental treatment
* rescue services and ambulance transport
In case of necessity of providing health care, a person from a member country entitled to
health care, staying temporarily in the territory of Poland, is entitled to free health care on
the basis of form E 111 issued in his country, European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and in
particular cases, also on the basis of a certificate. Holder of one of these documents will
receive free health services at health care providers who have concluded a relevant contract
In case of lack of these documents patient will be obliged to cover costs of treatment by
himself. The same obligation arises in case of treatment provided by a health care unit which
has no contract with National Health Found.
In each case health care providers or pharmacists require submitting a copy of a form E 111,
EHIC or a certificate.
Health care providers are obliged to provide services as soon as possible and to make a list
of persons awaiting the treatment. In case of sudden illness, injury, intoxication, life threat
or childbirth the admission is immediate.
A person entitled to health care can receive health services directly in the field of primary
health care and dental care. In case of specialist out-patient care a referral of the doctor
who practices within the health care system is required, and in case of hospital treatment - a
referral of any doctor. In case of emergency a person entitled under EEA rules can directly go
to a specialist, to a hospital or receive rescue services and ambulance transport in the
territory of Poland.
Primary health care
A person entitled to health care under EEA rules who presents form E111 issued by the competent
institution, the European Health Insurance Card or a certificate, receives free health services
within the general health care system. A doctor, who practices within the health care system,
can refer the patient to the diagnostic tests in order to confirm the preliminary diagnosis and
to confirm that the referral to a specialist or to a hospital is necessary.
Specialist out-patient care
In case of need of out-patient specialist treatment a referral of the doctor who practices
within health care system is required. No referral is required to following specialists:
* gynaecologist and midwife
and for following persons:
* suffering from tuberculosis
* infected with HIV
* war invalids
* addicted to alcohol, stupefacient and psychoactive substances -
in case of recovering treatment
* and in case of sudden illness, accident, injury, intoxication,
life threat a patient receives necessary medical benefits.
A patient who presented form E111 issued by his competent institution or European Health
Insurance Card or a certificate receives free health services within the general health
Majority of the costs of health services related to dental care is covered by insured persons
from their own means.
A patient who presents form E111 issued by his competent institution, European Health Insurance
Card or a certificate receives free dental services within the general health insurance system
only in the restricted scope specified in the Regulation of Minister of Health of 18 June 2003
(Official Journal 03.115.1088).
If there is a need of hospital treatment, a doctor's referral is required. In case of sudden
illness, accident, injury, intoxication, life threat, a patient receives necessary medical
benefits without referral. A patient who presented form E 111 issued by his competent institution,
European Health Insurance Card or a certificate, receives free dental services within the general
health care system.
Rescue services and ambulance transport
In case of accident, injury, childbirth, sudden illness or sudden deterioration of the state of
health, a person entitled to health care under EEA rules, can receive in the territory of Poland
free rescue services and ambulance transport on the basis of form E111 issued by the competent
institution, European Health Insurance Card or a certificate.
Medicines and medicinal products
An insured person or a person entitled under the EEA rules is provided with medicines or medicinal
products on the basis of a prescription issued by a doctor who practices within the health care
system or a doctor who does not practice within this system, but has concluded a contract with
the Fund authorizing him to issue prescriptions.
Prescriptions can be redeemed in generally available pharmacies on presenting the form.
Prescribed medicines can be purchased:
* for a lump-sum price (basic medicines and medicines made on
* for 30 or 50% of the price of a medicine (supplementary medicines).
Teleaddress data of the liaison body
Head office of the National Health Fund - The International Cooperation Office
(Centrala Narodowego Funduszu Zdrowia - Biuro Wspólpracy Miedzynarodowej)
ul. Grójecka 186
tel. +48 (22) 572 60 36
+48 (22) 572-60-36
+48 (22) 572-61-12
fax +48 (22) 572 63 30
ul. Kossutha 13
tel. +48 (32) 200-40-40
+48 (32) 735-19-00
faks +48 (32) 252-84-1