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In Poland, you can be treated in the public health service (free of charge) or privately (then you must pay for healthcare services). 

If you want to use healthcare services for free, you must be insured in the National Health Fund – what is the National Health Fund? Thanks to the NHF insurance, you can also use the services of private medical facilities, but such facility must have a contract with the National Health Fund - more information on the NHF is available here  https://www.nfz.gov.pl/

All persons employed in Poland, including foreigners, are subject to compulsory health insurance. This means that a contribution to the National Health Fund is paid from their salary each month (usually done by the employer). After proper registration with the National Health Fund, the health benefits to which the insured person is entitled may also be used by members of their immediate family (spouses and children, grandparents and parents remaining in the same household with the insured person), if they are not insured on a different basis. 

If a person (including a foreigner) is not insured with the National Health Fund, he / she can use healthcare, but only for a fee. If the person has an insurance policy with a private company, the insurance company pays for the healthcare. In many private medical facilities, you can buy the so-called subscription, i.e., a specific amount is paid to the facility every month for which a package of specific medical services is paid. Prices vary depending on the facility as well as the services that can be purchased. Detailed information is available from the individual private insurance companies.

As a rule, foreigners staying in Poland on the basis of a visa cannot use the public health service in Poland free of charge. 

Citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, and Tunisia have the right to use certain health care services financed from public funds on the basis of agreements concluded by their countries with Poland. Agreements concern only specific benefits or only specific groups of foreigners. Please consult your embassy or consulate to find out more - their contact details are provided here.  

Russian citizens temporarily staying in Poland are entitled to free healthcare services in the event of emergencies and accidents, until the patient's condition allows for transport to their country of origin. 


A referral is a document issued by a doctor who orders tests or allows you to sign up for a specialist doctor. Referrals to specialist doctors are needed as part of NHF care. If you want to consult a specialist doctor free of charge or undergo tests, the referral must also be issued by a doctor under the care of the National Health Fund (it cannot be to a doctor with whom you had an appointment for free).


Access to healthcare services for foreigners in Poland is regulated by the following legal acts: 

Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds (Journal of Laws of 2008, No. 164, item 1027, as amended) − http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/DetailsServlet?id=WDU20042102135 

Act of December 12, 2013 on foreigners (Journal  of Laws of 2020, item 35) −http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20130001650/U/D20131650Lj.pdf

 Act of 15 April 2011 on medical activity (Journal of Laws of 2011, No. 112, item 654, as amended) – http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/DetailsServlet?id=WDU20111120654 

Regulation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration of 22 December 2008 on means of subsistence that a foreigner entering the territory of the Republic of Poland should have and documents confirming the possibility of obtaining such funds (Journal of Laws of 2008, No. 235, item 1611 ) - http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/DetailsServlet?id=WDU20082351611 

Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:243:0001:0058:PL:PDF


Patient Rights Ombudsman − http://www.bpp.gov.pl

Patient Rights Charter − http://www.bpp.gov.pl/czesc_ogolna.html

ZUS guidebook "Social insurance and health insurance for Poles employed abroad and foreigners working in Poland" − https://www.zus.pl/documents/10182/167567/porad21.pdf/dd301159-e1e4-42ec-8106-929e86c330ba