Insider’s Guide to the Health System in Poland

Familiarize yourself with the health system in Poland. Understand its usage options and constraints for those who choose to move to and reside there, including expats, digital nomads, and retirees.
Insider’s Guide to the Health System in Poland

Poland has a public healthcare system that is funded by the government and is free for citizens and permanent residents. The public healthcare system in Poland is called the National Health Fund (NFZ). Foreigners (expats and digital nomads) are allowed to use the public healthcare system in Poland, however, they are required to pay for the services. The public healthcare system is used by foreigners, however, it is not recommended for serious medical emergencies and major surgery. Public hospitals in Poland are generally well-equipped and staffed, however, the quality of care may vary.

Poland’s Private Healthcare System

Poland also has a private healthcare system that is funded by private insurance companies. Private healthcare is more expensive than public healthcare, however, it is generally of higher quality. Expats primarily use private hospitals, as they are more likely to have English-speaking staff and more modern facilities. Private hospitals are recommended for serious medical emergencies and major surgery. Private hospitals in Poland are generally well-equipped and staffed, and the quality of care is usually higher than in public hospitals.

Poland’s Top Hospitals

The following are some of the most well-known hospitals in Poland:

  • University Hospital in Krakow (public hospital, located in Krakow)
  • University Hospital in Warsaw (public hospital, located in Warsaw)
  • Medical University of Gdansk (public hospital, located in Gdansk)
  • Medical University of Lodz (public hospital, located in Lodz)
  • Medical University of Poznan (public hospital, located in Poznan)
  • Medical University of Silesia (public hospital, located in Katowice)
  • Medical University of Wroclaw (public hospital, located in Wroclaw)
  • Holy Family Hospital (private hospital, located in Warsaw)
  • Luxmed Medical Center (private hospital, located in Warsaw)
  • St. Barbara Hospital (private hospital, located in Krakow)
  • St. Luke’s Hospital (private hospital, located in Wroclaw)

Health Insurance Companies in Poland

The most popular private health insurers in Poland are PZU, Allianz, and Generali. Expats and digital nomads typically use these companies or specialized expat health insurance providers.

Insider Tips from Expats in Poland: How to Navigate the Health System

“I have had three operations while living here. Two were very good but the third went wrong, due to an error, or rather lack of understanding off my medication needs, by the head surgeon. This mea.nt I spent fifteen days extra in hospital, recovering from massive internal bleeding. In future I will research the hospital I am going into,” commented one expat living in Rzesz√≥w, Poland.

“In Poland, medical services are generally of a high quality. The country has a well-developed healthcare system, with a wide range of medical services available. Patients can access both public and private healthcare, with the public system providing free or low-cost care. The country also has a number of highly-regarded medical universities, which provide excellent training for medical professionals. Additionally, Poland is home to a number of world-class hospitals and clinics, offering a range of treatments and services,” mentioned one expat living in Poland.

“Healthcare services in Poland are provided by both public and private institutions. The public healthcare system is funded by the government and is available to all Polish citizens and foreign residents. The quality of public healthcare in Poland is generally good, with a wide range of services available, including general practitioners, specialists, hospitals, and pharmacies. Expats in Poland can access the public healthcare system by registering with the National Health Fund (NFZ) and obtaining a health insurance card. This card allows them to receive free or discounted medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications. Expats can also opt for private healthcare, which is more expensive but offers more comprehensive coverage and shorter waiting times,” commented one member living in Poland.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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