Access to health care during a temporary stay in Poland
National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia)
The European Health Insurance Card – what’s that?
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the form E11 from the 1st January 2006. At the moment the EHIC is the only valid medical insurance document on the European Union territory, as far as free medical care is concerned. The EHIC can be used to cover any necessary medical treatment due to either an accident or illness within the European Economic Area (EEA). The EHIC entitles the holder to state-provided medical treatment within the country they are visiting and the service provided will be the same as received by a person covered by the country’s ‘insured’ medical scheme.
EU students should apply for this insurance card before they came to Poland. The application procedure is simple but it must be done in the health care units in the student’s country of origin. If you are not sure where the EHIC is provided, please consult with your university’s international office.
In Polish “the European Health Insurance Card” is “Europejska Karta Ubezpieczenia Zdrowotnego”.
How does the EHIC work in Poland?
- General practitioner go to a doctor who has a contract with the NFZ and show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Primary health care comprises examination and consultation by a general practitioner. A doctor may also refer you to diagnostic tests, to a specialist or to a hospital. Dispensaries (health centers) are open from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. After 6 p.m. on workdays, as well as on Saturdays, Sundays and on holidays 24-hour-care is provided by health units which have concluded contracts for this kind of services. They comprise out-patient care and home visits in case a patient’s condition is serious. Addresses and telephone numbers of health units providing 24-hour-care are available in health care dispensaries.
In Polish “a dispensary/ medical centre ” is “przychodnia”; “a pharmacy” is “apteka”; “general practitioner” is “lekarz pierwszego kontaktu”.
- Consultation with a specialistA general practitioner can give you a referral to a specialist. No referral is required to following specialists: obstetrician, dentist, dermatologist, venereologist, oncologist, eye specialist, psychiatrist. Note that free dental services are available only in the restricted scope. A list of free services and materials is available in the dentist surgery. You will have to cover costs of over standard services and materials on your own. Polish citizens use mostly private dentist practices.
- Hospital treatment with the EHICIn case of a sudden illness, accident, injury, intoxication or life threat you will receive necessary medical benefits in hospital without a referral. Go to a hospital which has a contract with the NFZ and show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). During stay in a hospital operations, diagnostic tests and medicines are provided free of charge. In case of an accident, injury, childbirth, sudden illness or sudden deterioration of the state of health call an ambulance (dialing 999 or 112) or go directly to a hospital, in particular to an accident and emergency department (SOR). Ambulance transport in such cases is free of charge. Show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
- International students from outside the European Union International students who come from non-European countries have, in most cases, a private insurance which was required for the visa application. But this insurance covers mostly only accidents and do not cover general practitioner’s consultation. For a general medical care insurance you have to apply in the NFZ department. NFZ details in Wrocław:NFZ Insurance Department
ul. Dawida 2, 1st floor
- NFZ insurance costs 37,80 PLN per month (≈10 EUR) and with it you can use the free medical care on the same rights as Polish citizens. For the application procedure you need:
- an application form (provided by NFZ Insurance Department or by International Office)
- a copy of your passport
- a copy of student’s ID
- a confirmation from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology (provided by International Office) that you are a student.
- You can also buy Euro26 Card which provides you with an insurance in case of accident and also gives you student’s discounts. The Euro26 Card is valid in whole Europe. For more appropriate information please consult webpage.Erasmus Mundus students The Erasmus Mundus programme offers special cover to its scholarship students at no extra cost. Visits in dispensaries and hospitals are payable but you have to collect all bills to claim for costs refund. All information about the insurance for Erasmus Mundus students are on the European Commission’s webpage.Erasmus Mundus students can also be insured in National Health Fund in Poland – the rules are the same as for the international students from outside the EU.For more details concerning your insurance or application procedure in NFZ please contact the Student Support Service.