Let’s say that you’ve felt sick, starting to feel pain in your body, or you thought that it would be a good idea to take some standard medical procedure. To see the doctor in Poland and use the public health service you need to have an insurance. Once you have it, things get pretty easy for you. However, there are two very important things you need to know straight away.
Rule number one – remember, that in case you are not feeling well but don’t require urgent medical care, the first thing you have to do is see your family doctor. In Poland to see the specialist you need to have a referral.
Rule number two – if you bleed out, suffer from a bone fracture, burning up or freezing out while reading this – don’t wait! Call 112 (same as in all EU member states) or go to the closest emergency room and get help!!!
Visiting a doctor
If you feel that your medical needs are not life-threatening and medically urgent, you first have to locate the closest clinic to the place that you live. When you’re done, you simply register yourself by giving all the information about yourself to the polite lady or gentleman working in the clinic by putting it on the registration form. Of course, you will be asked about the medical insurance. Don’t worry! If you have one, the only thing you need to do is to bring your ID to the clinic. Congratulations! You’ve found yourself a clinic where you can talk about all your health problems…but we hope you won’t have to talk about them too often.
Now, the procedure is simple. You describe the nature of your problem to the doctor and if necessary you will get the referral to the specialist or for some kind of special examinations like x-ray for example. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the referral, unless you want to pay some money for visiting a specialist or getting the examinations (but then you should be reading about private health service). After you’re finished – you take the results back to the family doctor and see what happens. Oh, and don’t worry about the medications. You will get the prescription if necessary.
Make sure everything goes smoothly
Probably like most of the newcomers to Poland, you may feel a bit worried about going to the doctor because of the language. There are two solutions to this problem. You could go to the doctor with a polish person who would translate for you if necessary (this is obviously more a quick fix rather than a real solution) or, before registering you make sure your family doctor speaks English. It will be a bit more tricky to make sure that the specialists you may need to visit speaks English but it is worth asking. Which solution you choose depends on you, but it is good to think about it before.