Healthcare and ART medicine standards in Poland
Poland has well developed health care system, both in the public and private sector. In this country almost every citizen (workless people as well) have social insurance. It guarantees them help and medical care in case of need.
The state fund covers most medical services including treatment by GPs and specialists, diagnostic examinations, hospitalization, emergency care, prescription medicine and surgical appliances, pregnancy and childbirth and rehabilitation. Often it also includes prophylaxis. According to Article 68 of the Polish Constitution everyone has a right to free health care. In particular, the government is obliged to provide free healthcare to children, pregnant women, disabled people and to the elderly. However, what may be interesting, a study conducted in 2013 showed that 65% of Polish citizens and 91% of pregnant women used private healthcare.
Medical centers and hospitals are located mainly in large cities but is isn’t a rule. In case of emergency you may call 999 or 112. Emergency Medical Services in Poland are a service of public, pre-hospital emergency healthcare, including (but not limited to) ambulance service, provided by the individual Polish cities and counties.
Medical personnel and doctors are experienced and really well educated. Every medical center need to meet restrict requirements and register in local city office. The Ministry of Health is in overall charge of policy and regulation of the healthcare system, and it controls clinics and hospitals regularly. The National Health Fund (NHF) aided by its regional branches manages the healthcare insurance scheme.
Private healthcare is also available in the country and many citizens choose this to avoid the long waiting time for services available in public hospitals and clinics. There are many private practices in Poland provided by independent office-based doctors and specialists. The premises, equipment and personnel are funded by the doctors themselves and through private insurance contributions. Private healthcare is used by more people in Poland than in other EU member states; this is largely due to the perceived inadequacies of the state system.
Dispensing chemists sell medicines in Poland and only doctors and consultants can prescribe medicine. Prescription medicine is only available from a qualified and registered chemist or from a hospital pharmacy and it is subsidized through the NHF. Costs for prescription drugs are reimbursed through the national health system. There is a wide selection of over-the-counter medicines.
As for in vitro treatment, until 2013 it was performed almost only in private clinics and fully paid by patients. Since the introduction of the national program of infertility treatment for couples who meet requirements IVF is refundable. In 2014 the government of Poland introduced new initiative – medicines used during stimulation are now subsidized. In terms of egg donation, patients still need to cover all costs of treatment themselves.