Cross-border transport within EU/EFTA Member States
As a rule, the EU legislation does not provide for the possibility of sanitary transport of a patient from another EU/EFTA Member State to Poland. This means that the cost of transport is paid by the patient.
However, on the basis of Polish regulations, the National Health Fund may cover the costs of your sanitary transport to the country under the so-called economic transport. Are you being treated in a hospital in an EU/EFTA Member State under the provisions on coordination (e.g. on the basis of the EHIC) and do you want to return home for further hospital treatment? Apply for authorisation to cover your transport costs. When the anticipated cost of your further treatment abroad is higher than the total cost of the anticipated treatment in Poland and transport, the economic premise is met. This will allow us to cover the costs of your transport back home.
What you need to know
- You must apply for authorisation before using the transport.
- We will grant you authorisation for transport by the cheapest means of sanitary transport that is suitable for your health condition. The means of transport will be determined by the doctor from the hospital where you are being treated abroad.
- We cannot cover the costs of your transport to your place of residence in Poland.
- We do not organise transport, we only fund it. You are responsible for choosing the company that will carry out the transport.
- We do not cover the costs of transporting the deceased.
How to apply for authorisation to cover the transport costs
1. Choosing the application
The application is Appendix 3 to the Regulation of the Minister of Health on granting authorisation.
2. Completing the application
Complete Part I.B., marking point 2, Part II and IV of the application and sign in the required fields.
Please note! If you have agreed your further treatment with a hospital in Poland, please provide the details of this hospital in Part II.C. under point 2. If you do not name such a hospital, it will be named by the National Health Fund in its decision – after the necessary arrangements with the facility concerned.
3. Adding attachments
Attach to your application the documentation produced by the hospital where you are staying. The documentation must include:
- a current clinical diagnosis,
- a description of your current state of health,
- the probable extent and duration of treatment,
- indication of the means of transport that may be used in your current condition,
- preliminary cost estimate for further treatment in a foreign institution,
- Polish translation of medical records in a foreign language (they do not have to be translated by a sworn translator).
4. Submitting the application together with the attachments
Submit the application together with the attachments to your local branch of the National Health Fund.
The director of the branch of the National Health Fund competent for your place of residence in Poland will examine your application – under the authority of the President of the National Health Fund.
You can also submit your application as an electronic document, signed either with a qualified electronic signature, a personal signature or a trusted profile. The required attachments may be represented in digital form.
5. Conducting an investigation
The purpose of the procedure is to confirm that the expected costs of your further treatment abroad exceed the total costs of transport and treatment in Poland. This is the so-called economic premise – if it is met, we can cover the cost of your transport to the place of further treatment in Poland.
As a result of the investigation, the President of the National Health Fund issues a decision – authorisation or refusal of authorisation for covering the costs of return transport to the place of treatment in the country (hospital).
Mr Jan Kowalski has had an accident in Austria. He is being treated in an Austrian hospital under the provisions on coordination. However, he requires long-term treatment. Mr Jan Kowalski wants to return to Poland and continue to be treated in the country. This is because he has his closest family there. He submits an application for authorisation to cover his transport costs. He attaches to the application the medical documentation produced by the Austrian hospital. It set out his current state of health and the clinical diagnosis of his condition and stated that his health condition allowed transport. The Austrian doctor indicated that wheeled sanitary transport assisted by a paramedic was appropriate. Based on this documentation, the Austrian healthcare provider determined the scope of treatment (hospital treatment – specific procedures), its duration (one month) and expected cost (PLN 17 000).
The National Health Fund conducted an investigation. It determined that the cost of similar treatment in Poland is PLN 5 000, and the cost of ambulance transport with the assistance of a paramedic from a hospital in Austria to a hospital in Poland is PLN 4 000. Thus, the economic premise was fulfilled - i.e. the expected cost of further treatment abroad (PLN 17 000) exceeded the total cost of the expected treatment in Poland and transport (PLN 9 000). The National Health Fund has granted authorisation to cover transport costs.
6. Appealing against the decision
The decision of the President of the National Health Fund to refuse to grant an authorisation is final – it cannot be appealed. If you disagree with the decision, you can lodge a complaint with the administrative court. You must do this within 30 days from the receipt of the decision.
- Article 42i(9) and (9a) of the Act of 27 August 2004 on publicly funded healthcare benefits (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 1285, as amended), referred to as the ‘Act on healthcare benefits’
- Regulation of the Minister of Health of 27 May 2022 on granting authorisation to obtain healthcare benefits outside the country and to cover the costs of transport (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 1209), referred to as the ‘Regulation on granting authorisation’