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vaccines & health

in Poland, we say "health is the most important of all" - it may be cheesy, but it's true; here's what you should know.

- how is the Polish healthcare system?
- what are Polish hospitals like?
- do I need to get vaccinated?



contents

health services

health services

risks and non-risks

risks and non-risks

vaccines

vaccines

health services


hospitals

Hospitals in Poland are not great; the big ones in big cities are on-par with EU standards, but the small ones in smaller cities are not something out of a fairy tale. However, they have all the equipment and qualifications on-site needed to perform any acute operation, just not in the largest comfort afterwards. The food is infamously bad in Polish hospitals, and the staff may have trouble understanding more complex English sentences. All in all, if you do end up in need of a hospital while in Poland, you will be fine and satisfied with your stay as long as you stay in the largest few cities.

It is hard to estimate the price of an operation, but, for example, if you break a leg and are transported by an amublance to the nearest hospital, where you are treated for your leg, receive a cast, and stay for a night, you will pay approximately 1000 zł [220 EUR].

big city hospital

big city hospital inside

small city hospital

small city hospital inside

clinics

If you want to get something checked privately, which is a much quicker option and much more viable while on vacation, you can also go to a private clinic. Even smaller cities tend to have loads of clinics with diverse specializations.

The cost of one visit as such a clinic is typically between 100 zł [22 EUR] and 200 zł [44 EUR], depending on the condition. This also applies to dental clinics.

typical clinic

typical clinic inside

ambulances

Polish ambulances are typically on-par with European standards, but are quite understaffed as of 2019. To call an ambulance, dial 999 (or 112 if you are unsure which help services to contact).

Polish ambulance

Polish ambulance inside

pharmacies

Pharmacies in Poland are modern, well-stocked, and employ only qualified pharmacists. There are pharmacies even in larger villages, so you will have no trouble finding one. Of course, for much of the medication you need a perscription - in Poland, you can only get one at a hospital or clinic (it comes on a small piece of paper).

pharmacy

pharmacy inside


risks and non-risks


risks

There are currently no health risks while traveling to Poland. However, you should be careful of extreme temperatures in July-August and in January-February (especially in the mountains). You should also avoid any contact with bears or bison.

bears in Poland

bison in Poland

non-risks

Everything not mentioned in the "risks" sub-chapter above is not something you have to worry about while in Poland. This includes disease, epidemic outbreaks, food poisoning, air poisoning, poor health infrastructure, and lack of access to medication.

vaccines


The question you should ask yourself in connection to getting vaccinated to go to Poland is: "would I get vaccinated to go to Germany?" If the answer is no, then no, don't get vaccinated to go to Poland, the health situation is exactly the same.

Nonetheless, there are sources with suggest a number of optional vaccines.

Firstly, in the recommended category, there is Hepatitis A, which you can get through contaminated food or water. We have never heard of a single case of Hepatitis A in Poland, and the Polish are generally not vaccinated against this disease themselves due to the non-existent risk.

Secondly, there are Hepatitis B and Rabies - in Poland, Hepatitis B is in the same spot as Hepatitis A. Rabies, on the other hand, is always a useful vaccine, no matter the country, though not necessary if you will be spending most of your time in cities. In Poland, it is very rare, but does appear in bats.