Frequently asked questions

This means that in order to receive medical aid (also at a hospital emergency department), and avoid medical treatment costs, you must have a health insurance. There are only a few exceptions to the rule (for example holders of Pole’s card may receive emergency medical aid free-of-charge).

As part of the National Health Fund, anyone who belongs to one of the following groups is insured:

  • persons covered by obligatory health insurance (e.g. employees, self-employed persons, old-age pensioners, disability pensioners, unemployed persons);
  • family members of the insured person, registered for insurance.

In some cases, the family member status is an exemption from the obligation of health insurance coverage. For instance, students under 26 years old should be registered for health insurance as a person pursuing education only if they cannot be registered as family members.

You are registered for health insurance by the payer of your health insurance contributions. The payers of health insurance contribution include, for example,:

  • employers - registering their employees,
  • schools - registering pupils,
  • employment offices -  registering unemployed persons.

If you are self-employed, you are obliged to register for health insurance independently. The payer files a registration request with the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS - Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych).

You may take out a voluntary health insurance for you and your family members, which is subject to fee payment. Submit an application at the provincial branch of the National Health Fund with a jurisdiction over your place of residence, or in one of its local offices.

For more information about obligatory health insurance, go to the ZUS website. You may also use the services provided by insurance companies, but remember to carefully read the terms & conditions of the insurance package you decide to take out.

In Poland patients can choose between public (free-of-charge) and private healthcare services (subject to payments for a given service).

If you wish to use free healthcare services, you need to take out a health insurance at the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia - NFZ). Thanks to the NFZ insurance, you can also use services provided by private healthcare centres, if  they have an agreement with the National Health Fund - for more information about the NFZ go to

All persons employed in Poland, including foreigners, are subject to mandatory health insurance. This means that a contribution to the NFZ is deducted each month from their salaries (this is normally arranged by employers). Following a proper registration with the NFZ, the healthcare services to which the insured persons are entitled to can also be used by their immediate family members (spouses and children, and grandparents and parents living in the same household with the insured person), if they are not eligible for insurance on other grounds.

If a given person (including a foreigner) is not insured with the NFZ, they may only use paid healthcare services. If they have taken out a health insurance with a private insurance company, the said insurance company covers the costs of such services. A lot of private healthcare centres offer a subscription fee, which is a monthly payment of a fixed sum, for which patients receive access to a specified package of medical services. The prices vary depending on a given centre and the services which patients can access. Individual private insurance companies provide detailed information on their portfolio.

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

Referral is a document issued by a doctor who refers a patient to medical tests or to a consultation with a specialist. Referrals to specialists are required as part of healthcare services reimbursed by NFZ. If you wish to consult a specialist free-of-charge or have some medical examinations done, a physician must issue a referral as part of the healthcare system.

Do you need medical assistance at night or on holiday? Such services are provided in 22 healthcare centres in Warsaw - not only in hospitals but also in outpatient clinics.

Night-time and holiday medical assistance includes basic healthcare services provided Monday to Friday, between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on the following day, and 24/7 services on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays.

In the event of a sudden illness or deterioration of health, patients may seek assistance at any night-time and holiday healthcare centre, notwithstanding their place of residence or General Practitioner selected in their declarations.

Physicians on duty give medical advice at an outpatient clinic, at a patient's home (where justifiable due to medical considerations), or by phone.

You can get information on the places where you can obtain assistance at:

The list of municipal hospitals and outpatient clinics in Warsaw: