Access to healthcare during a temporary residence in Poland
Polish National Health Fund (NFZ; Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia)
International students from the EU member countries
European Health Insurance Card – what is this?
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) was phased in from January 1, 2006, and it replaced Form E11. Currently the EHIC is the sole healthcare entitlement document on the territory of the EU as far as the free healthcare is concerned. The EHIC can be used to cover the costs of the necessary medical services due to an accident or illness within the European Economic Area (EEA). It entitles its holder to receive the treatment covered by the statutory healthcare system in the visited country on equal terms as it is received by people who are insured by the state healthcare system.
Students from the EU member countries should apply for the EHIC before they come to Poland. The application process is simple but it has to take place in the country of origin of a given student. If you are not sure where the EHIC is issued, please contact the international relations office at your university. Polish translation of the "European Health Insurance Card" is "Europejska Karta UbezpieczeniaZdrowotnego."
How does the EHIC work in Poland?
Go to a doctor who signed a contract with the Polish National Health Fund (NFZ), and present your EHIC card. Primary healthcare includes examination and the consultation of the general practitioner. The general practitioner may also refer you to diagnostic tests at a specialist or to hospital. Medical centres are open from Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 18.00. After 18.00 on weekdays, weekends and holidays, 24-hour medical service is provided by units that are contracted for such services by the NFZ. The services include ambulatory care and home visits when patient's condition is serious. Addresses and telephone numbers of units providing 24-hour medical services are available in medical centres.
In Polish "a dispensary/medical centre" is "przychodnia", "pharmacy" is "apteka", and "general practitioner" is "lekarzpierwszegokontaktu."
Consultation with a specialist
General practitioner may refer you to a specialist. You do not need a referral to the following specialists: gynecologist, dentist, dermatologist, venereologist, oncologist, ophthalmologist and psychiatrist. It should be noted that free dental services are limited. You will have to cover the costs of non-standard dental services. The majority of Polish citizens visit private dental practices.
Hospital treatment with the EHIC card
In case of a sudden illness, an accident, injury, poisoning or a life-threatening condition, you will receive all the necessary medical services without the referral to hospital. Go to the hospital that signed a contract with the NFZ and present your EHIC card. During the stay in hospital, surgeries, diagnostic tests and medicines are provided free of charge. In case of a chance event, childbirth, sudden illness or sudden health deterioration, you should call the ambulance (telephone number: 999 or 112) or go directly to the hospital, particularly to the emergency department (ED; in Polish: SOR). In such cases medical transport is free of charge. You should present your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
International students from outside the EU
In most cases, international students who have come from non-European countries have private insurance, which was required with the visa application. However, in most cases that insurance only covers accidents and does not include consultations with the general practitioner. In order to obtain general health insurance, you have to submit an application in an office of the Polish National Health Fund (NFZ). Details concerning the NFZ in Wrocław:
NFZ Insurance Department (WydziałUbezpieczeń NFZ)
The cost of the NFZ insurance is 37.80 PLN per month (≈ 10 EUR) and its holder can benefit from the healthcare free of charge, on equal terms as Polish citizens. To apply for the insurance, you will need:
• The application form (provided by NFZ Insurance Department - WydziałUbezpieczeń NFZ, or by the International Office)
• the copy of your passport
• the copy of your student card
• the confirmation from the Wrocław University of Technology that you are a student (provided by the International Office).
You can also buy the European Youth Card (Euro26 Card) which ensures accident insurance and student discounts. Euro26 Card is valid across Europe. In order to obtain the necessary information, visit the Erasmus Mundus students website. The Erasmus Mundus programme offers a special insurance for participating students without any additional costs. Visits in medical centres and hospitals are paid, but you have to collect the bills in order to apply for the refund of the costs. All information about the insurance for the Erasmus Mundus students is to be found on the European Commission’s webpage
. The Erasmus Mundus students have to be insured also by the Polish National Health Fund - the principles are the same as for the international students from the EU.
To obtain more detailed information concerning your insurance or the application process in the NFZ, please contact the Student Support Office.