In Polish healthcare, the first rung is the primary health care, a general practitioner. Such a doctor should be selected at the clinic by submitting a written declaration. We register for them, in case of illness, for periodic check-ups and vaccination appointments. As part of the insurance, you can also make an appointment for periodic health check-ups. The doctor will also write out prescriptions for permanent medications. When choosing a general practitioner, we will check whether we are covered by insurance. By entering the PESEL number, the system will verify our entitlement to free health care.
It is recommended for whole families to sign up with the same doctor – it facilitates diagnosis, and the physician becomes our family doctor in the full meaning of the word. There are 269 clinics in Szczecin, 22 of which provide online registration.
The next rung is the specialist doctors. These are, for example, ophthalmologists, neurologists, cardiologists, diabetologists, etc. Without a referral from a general practitioner – a family doctor, you will not be booked for a visit. Emergencies that require urgent help happen. In case of one, dial 999 – this is the emergency medical service number. Paramedics will arrive as soon as possible and decide whether it is necessary to transport the patient to the hospital. It is particularly important not to abuse this option. According to the current legislation, an unjustified call for an ambulance is punishable by a penalty of up to PLN 1,500 (the police may impose a fine, Article 66 of the Code of Petty Offenses).