Currently, with a population of around 38.5 million inhabitants, Poland has the sixth largest population in the European Union (EU), and its life expectancy stands at 78 years. Being part of the EU, Poland enjoys some privileges for its inhabitants in the area of health.
According to the OECD Better Life Index, when asked, only 58% of Poles consider themselves to be in good health, where the survey average is at 69%. With the Polish health system divided between public and private, in 2005, the health tax became mandatory, at a rate of 8.5% on top of the base salary and which occupies a large part of the taxes paid by citizens, today the National Health Fund - NHF manages this money for public health.
There is a separation between patients, who are cared for at home, and hospitalized patients, with care at home generally being private in large cities and in private institutions in other areas.
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Copayment by patients within public health can happen in some cases, such as the purchase of medication, some nursing services, and some parts of dental services can be passed on to the patient directly. The NHF specifies the conditions for people to be assured of public health, with some of these categories:
- Registered workers;
- Farmers and members of the agricultural sector;
- People on unemployment insurance;
- Students and under 18s;
- Retired due to disability or length of service;
- Police, firefighters, soldiers, judges, and other security officials.
You can check the full listing by clicking here, being redirected to the official website of the NHF - National Health Fund or in Polish NFZ - Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia.
On the official website of the NHF - for the patient, can ask questions, consult his information after registering, see how long to wait for an appointment, request reimbursements, and make complaints. With the IKP (Internet Patient Account) registration, you are entitled to several benefits, including:
- Consult with physicians (if necessary at-home care);
- Consult with specialist doctors (after going through a general practitioner);
- Disease treatments and rehabilitation;
- Medical monitoring of pregnant women and children;
- Exams and preventive.
Besides the registration providing you with information on where to get medical help, what are your benefits and your health rights, authorization to access your medical history for others, consent to procedures, certificates of illness or leave for leave, for example, maternity leave, its electronic prescriptions, expenses, referrals, and others.
To consult specialists, it is necessary to go first to the general practitioner, and he will pass the referral for the consultation with the specialist. Some specialties can be consulted directly, such as gynecologists and obstetricians, oncologists, psychiatrists, venereologists, and dentists. Dermatologists and ophthalmologists since 2015 it is necessary to have a referral from a general practitioner for consultation.
Among the biggest problems faced in Polish health is the lack of professionals in the area, especially specialists, lack of resources, and lack of newer technologies. Low-income patients also report difficulties, with 53% of those considered to be low-income considered to be in good health, against 71% of those with high income.
The Polish health system manages to keep a large part of its population healthy, but as in all systems, there is room for improvement since the online system does not directly compare with the European quality standard.