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In recent years, Poland has emerged as a popular medical tourism destination. Polish doctors provide an attractive option for people in nearby countries who are seeking a high standard of treatment at more affordable price.
Although the cost of treatment is the most common reason, there are many others why patients are prepared to travel. For example, Polish clinics invested in multi-lingual staff, who are briefed to understand foreign patients' expectations and to assist with travel arrangements. Practices have had to be flexible and extend their opening hours. Some medical tourism companies offer treatment packages with local support, some modest sightseeing plus recovery and recuperation in first-class spa resorts.
Poland as an attractive destination
There are many factors which make Poland an attractive destination:
- Price - patients who are facing a surgery bill can often save a considerable amount, even after taking into consideration the cost of flights and accommodation.
- High standards - surgeons in Poland are highly skilled, with many having worked in other countries, including US and UK. Many clinics are ISO certified and have accreditation with the international Quality Monitoring Centre. The assurance of EU monitored quality levels in materials and facilities make Poland highly competitive. The Polish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons is a professional body which ensures that high standards are maintained. However, patients are advised to be thorough in researching their options.
- Modern clinics - there are numerous clinics and hospitals equipped with the latest technology. Infection control and safety is taken very seriously.
- Location - Poland is very close to the United Kingdom and Ireland, with many cities available in approximately 2-3 hours by air.
The Ministry of Health holds overall responsiblitiy for the management of healthcare within Poland.
Doctors are registered with the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists. This is an independant body responsible for overseeing the profession in Poland.
The Polish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons is the main professional body representing plastic surgeons in Poland. Surgeons specialising in head and neck surgery may also be members of The Polish Society of Otorhinolaryngologists, Head and Neck Surgeons.
The basic medical degree takes 6 years. Graduates are awarded the title M.D. ('lekarz') and following this doctors either complete a compulsory 1 year internship or apply for training in one of the basic specialties: internal medicine, emergency medicine or family medicine.
Plastic surgeons hold a Specialist Diploma with the title 'Chirurgia plastyczna' representing addtional specialist training of 5 years. This is commonly refered to as the "second-level specialization degree in plastic surgery".
Poland operates a mandatory system of compulsory continuing education with all doctors required to amass 250 continuing education points in a 5 year period. Continuing education points are only valid for accreditited courses and failure to gain the required number of points results in the suspension of the right to practice. Professional organizations such as the Polish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons help organize training and seminars specific to their specialties.
A Screener for Professional Liability (SPL) investigates any complaint against a medical professional. Their findings are adjudicated by a regional medical court. Appeals are sent to the supreme medical court. Full details are available on the site of the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists in the reference section below. Complaint mechanisms may be found at
Storage and access to medical records
Polish doctors are bound by both ethical and legal constraints to respect patient confidentiality and ensure the security of their data.
Information must be stored in paper form but may be backed up by electronic means. The Act on Access to Public Information (6th September 2001) mandates an individuals right to access information stored about them and includes sections on access to medical data. As an EU member Poland has an additional requirement to comply with the EU's laws on data protection and access.
Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists
ul. Sobieskiego 110
tel: (22) 559-13-00
register of doctors: http://www.nil.org.pl/xml/nil/rejlek/hurtd
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