Poland's healthcare system can be divided into the public and private sector. The public health insurance system is financed by general taxation and provides free and subsidised services including primary care, emergency services, and hospital treatment. Patients in Poland require a referral from a general practitioner to see a specialist physician.
Expats in Poland who are also members of the European Union have the same health benefits as Poland's residents. They are covered by Poland's health insurance scheme when they present either an E111 form issued by their home country, or their European Health Insurance Card. Other expats are required to pay for healthcare independently or obtain private health insurance. Due to this, expatriates within Poland are strongly encouraged to obtain a Poland international medical insurance policy.
Within the major cities of Poland, expats can receive adequate primary care and medical treatment with well trained, English speaking staff. Expats in Poland generally opt for treatment at private healthcare facilities due to the higher standard of treatment, and public hospital regulations that generally do not allow private patients to attend public healthcare facilities. Waiting lists are also shorter in private hospitals, and patients have more selection of their doctor and the hospital they attend. To ensure ease of access to healthcare and medical services, expats in Poland are strongly encouraged to obtain some form of Poland medical insurance.
Medicover are an international medical company that offers a range of healthcare services within Poland and other countries across Europe. There are Medicover Centres located within Poland's major cities including Bialystok, Bydgoszcz, Gdansk, Gdynia, Katowice, Krakow, Lublin, Lodz, Poznan, Szczecin and Wroclaw. There are also over 1,000 medical facilities situated in over 200 towns across the country. The Medicover Centres offer primary care, outpatient services, laboratory and imaging diagnostics as well as hospital treatment. Medicover also offers the Total Health Screening Program, aimed at early detection of diseases.
For those living in Warsaw, many also attend the Damian Medical Centre (DMC) a private health facility offering inpatient and outpatient services, and general surgeries. There are a range of specialised services available including orthopaedics, gynecology, urology, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical oncology, and laryngology. A cardiac clinic is also located within the DMC, offering diagnostic and outpatient services for patients.
Pulsmed Private Hospital, located in Lodz, is a modern medical and diagnostic clinic offering primary care and general surgeries as well as ophthalmology, urology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, oncology, and other specialties. Swissmed, a private hospital located in Gdansk, offers a range of inpatient and outpatient services including Gynecology, Pediatric Surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedics, hand surgery, Vascular surgery, Laryngology and Oncological surgery.
Poland's leading oncology centre is located in the city of Gliwice, southern Poland. It is called the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology and offers a team of specialist physicians who are trained within America and across Europe. The oncology centre has modern facilities providing comprehensive diagnostic, inpatient and outpatient services including complex operative treatment.
Although there are adequate healthcare facilities for expats living in Poland, in the event of a serious illness or medical condition, emergency evacuation or repatriation services may be required to receive the appropriate level of care. In the event of an emergency, expats can contact the International SOS alarm centre and speak to a staff member, 24 hours a day, all days of the year. The alarm centre will assess the emergency situation and arrange for a response team to provide appropriate assistance. The emergency evacuation teams are experienced and provide repatriation, air and land transportation services. The costs involved in covering emergency air transportation are however very expensive. Expats in Poland are strongly encouraged to obtain some form of Poland Health insurance which includes coverage for air transportation services.