Nowadays, French, British, and American citizens visit Poland not only as tourists but also for longer stays or to move here permanently. This involves quite a few formalities. It can often be complicated to ensure comprehensive medical care for yourself and your loved ones. This is especially because the language barrier is still a major problem when meeting doctors. How can this problem be solved?
Is this obstacle impossible to overcome?
The organisation of the healthcare system is different in every country, and foreigners may find it difficult to understand the Polish system. “Brits are, for example, slightly less demanding, but sensitive to “shortcomings” in customer service. Americans like to be well-informed in all aspects and pay attention to how they are being serviced. Polish medical personnel are also often not as empathetic as they would expect. This, combined with fairly common cases of patients not being informed about the next course of action or not being presented with a treatment plan, may be a major problem for foreigners. They are not only away from home, but sometimes find it difficult to communicate with their doctor. This can deter them from visits,” says Joanna Lityńska, a nurse who has worked with foreigners in Poland for many years.
Getting the expected level of treatment
Many foreigners staying in Poland admit that the language barrier causes the most problems. Describing symptoms to a doctor or understanding a diagnosis can be problematic even for those foreigners who have mastered the Polish language. This makes it difficult for the patient to trust even the best specialist in his or her speciality when attending a consultation. We have established the American Clinic Warsaw to eliminate such problems, as the clinic’s services are mostly intended for all foreigners living in Poland. On-site doctors include, among others, an internal medicine doctor, a cardiologist, a gynaecologist, and a paediatrician. Other available facilities include diagnostic and testing facilities, a pharmacy, and a modern hospital complex, which make it possible to use the offered services without unnecessary waiting. To make the entire diagnostic and treatment process run smoothly, it is coordinated by a dedicated patient assistant. If necessary, the assistant makes appointments with specialists and sets the dates for tests ordered by the personal physician.
“For foreigners, the world-class standard of medical care and the rich professional experience of our specialists are as equally important as the fact that our entire team speaks English and that some of the doctors are foreigners as well. We pay attention not only to understanding in communication, but also to respecting cultural differences and the trust between the patent and our personnel,” emphasises Marcelina Szyszka operational coordinator of the American Clinic Warsaw.
Not necessarily expensive
Despite appearances, treatment abroad doesn’t need to be expensive. Thanks to the European Health Insurance Card, which is also valid in Poland, foreigners can use many medical services completely free of charge. This concerns everyone who is subject to the legislation of another EU state and is entitled to use the public healthcare system there. “At the American Clinic, we respect all healthcare packages and insurance policies from around the world, and holders of foreign insurance may also use the services offered by our clinic. Our administration compiles the necessary medical records, has them translated, and acts as an intermediary in settlements with insurance companies. These formalities require the minimum involvement of the patient, as we believe that the most important thing is that patients focus on their health,” stresses Marcelina Szyszka operational coordinator of the American Clinic Warsaw.