In Poland, a medical doctor providing primary health care (general practitioner, GP) is commonly called “a first-contact doctor” or a "family doctor". This is because you need to obtain a referral from your general practitioner in order to have access to more specialised medical services, e.g. to neurologists, eye specialists, hospital treatment or medical rehabilitation.
The referral is not required in the event of an emergency or for services provided by the following medical doctors: oncologist, gynaecologist, psychiatrist, venereologist and dentist, which means that you can register for the visit whenever necessary.
In order to visit your family doctor, you first need to register at one of the outpatient clinics, preferably near the place of your stay. You should present your identity card or passport and proof of insurance (e.g. a document called RMUA received from your employer or doctoral school).
When you are registered, you can sign up for an appointment with a doctor or visit him/her straight away, if he/she is not occupied.
The range of free dental services provided to an insured person is limited. Children and young people of up to 18 years of age and pregnant women are covered by better arrangements. Moreover, you should remember that only basic dental materials are financed by public funds, and thus you need to pay for any more advanced products used in treatment. As a result, many Poles choose private dental services.