If your GP decides that you need specialist treatment, they will refer you to a specialist. You will then be placed in outpatient specialist care (AOS).
You have the right to choose any specialist clinic (the one to which you are referred) from among those with whom the National Health Fund has signed a contract. However, a referral only entitles you to enroll in one surgery only. You can sign up by phone, e-mail or in person without a referral form, but this document must be delivered within 14 days of the appointment.
How long is a referral valid for?
They need to be ‘renewed’ if you haven’t started treatment in the last 730 days. If the specialist decides that you need to come to him / her for another consultation / examination, you do not need to have a new referral. A new referral will be necessary when you have finished treatment with a given specialist and a new or completely new health problem has appeared that requires diagnostics and treatment with AOS.
A referral is not always needed There is a group of specialist doctors for whom you do not need a referral:
- gynecologist and obstetrician
Special entitlements to use assistance in specialist clinics
There are groups of patients that do not need to be referred to a specialist clinic. This:
- people suffering from tuberculosis
- HIV-infected people
- war and military invalids, veterans and persecuted persons
- civilian blind victims of hostilities
- eligible soldiers or employees for the treatment of injuries or diseases acquired while
- performing tasks abroad
- njured veterans, in the field of treatment of injuries or diseases acquired while performing tasks outside the country
- people addicted to alcohol, intoxicants and psychotropic substances – in the field of drug addiction treatment
- activists of the anti-communist opposition and people who were repressed for political reasons
- persons with a certificate of significant disability;
people who were deported to forced labor and imprisoned in labor camps by the Third Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.In Poland, the so-called zoning, which means that it is the patient who chooses the facility where he / she wants to be treated. He may therefore be located outside the town where he lives.
Third tier: hospital
Both GPs and specialists can refer you to a hospital. You have the right to choose any hospital in Poland, provided that it has an agreement with the National Health Fund.
In a situation where it is necessary due to your health condition, you can also be referred to the hospital by a doctor who does not have a contract with the National Health Fund (i.e. one where you are treated privately), and you do not have to pay for hospital treatment. . However, you are not entitled to free examinations or consultations with a specialist on the basis of a referral from a private doctor – only a doctor who has a contract with the National Health Fund or works in a facility with such a contract can refer them.
A referral for hospital treatment remains valid until the date of admitting the patient is agreed.
You can also go to the hospital on your own, without a referral, if you have had an accident, poisoning, trauma, labor has started, or if your health is in danger or if your health suddenly deteriorates.
The hospital does not have to admit you to a hospital ward immediately – it depends on your health condition and the possibility of admitting you at the moment. This rule does not apply in the event of a sudden threat to life or health.