Updated 2 years ago

Are expatriates eligible to the Pole health care system? What are the relating conditions and formalities? Find out in this article.

Health care will probably be one of your main priorities on moving to Poland. Rest assured! Like most European countries, Poland has a modern and developed health care system which provides quality health care for all, regardless of the illness from which you are suffering. But in all cases, foreigners are advised to subscribe to a private health insurance before moving there.

Health system

The Polish health system includes several public and private hospitals and health care centers, as well as doctors in private practice. Thus, everyone can access to health care services, even in private clinics. Most of these health care centers provide all types of care and treatments, ranging from the most basic to the most specialized services.

However, health care is charged in Poland, whether the the case of hospital admission or operation, etc., if the beneficiaries are not affiliated with the Social Security or with a health insurance. Note, moreover, that health care services are more expensive in private clinics than in public hospitals.


Emergency health care services are provided by all health care centers, including local health centers. Ambulance services, for their part, are taken care of by the Social Security for European nationals. Non-European nationals are also eligible to these services, but charges apply. These charges are taken care of by their insurance company.

In case of emergency anywhere in the country, dial 999, whether from your land line or mobile phone.

Doctors and treatments

You are likely to find many specialist doctors in Poland without having to pay a visit to a general practitioner: dentists, dermatologists, gynecologists, ophthalmologists, psychiatrists, etc. You will also find many pharmacies almost everywhere in the country. In major cities, there is at least one pharmacy which is on call. On the other hand, medication is sold upon prescription. This condition is applied by most health professionals in Poland.

Social security

All employees in Poland must have a Social Security number. Registration procedures will be taken care of by your employer. In fact, your employer will be making monthly contributions to the fund on your behalf. In the case of European Union and European Economic Area nationals, they are eligible to a full coverage in all health care centers within the European Union provided they have a European Health Insurance Card.

You may also subscribe to a health insurance upon your arrival in the country. Note that subscription to a health insurance is highly recommended for foreign students and non-European nationals.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Health care in Poland Forum 
Expat.com – Directory of Health care professionals in Poland 
Yellow Pages – Directory of Hospitals in Poland en.yellowpages.pl/b2b/-_YP0R25C3150L999999F0S1I0D100.html
Yellow Pages – Directory of Pharmacies in Poland en.yellowpages.pl/b2b/-_YP0R25C3145L999999F0S1I0D100.html
Ministry of Health www.mz.gov.pl

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