Over the past twenty five years, the Eastern European country of Poland has experienced strong economic growth stemming from a prolonged period of peace, a democratic government, and hard-working people. Its transformation led to its membership in the European Union in 2004. Since then the country’s economic and political stability has continued, allowing it to weather the economic downturn beginning in 2008. It has a population of approximately 40 million people with 2 million people living in Warsaw, its capital. The country has a large rural population that contributes to Poland’s status as the breadbasket of Europe.
Polish healthcare is dominated by the national public system that is state-financed and the National Health Fund (NFZ) that supports it. Access to the public system is good but waiting lists for non-emergency procedures can be long. A strong private system is in place alongside the public system and many people opt to have private insurance as a supplement to their healthcare choices. Healthcare professionals are well trained and deliver a good standard of care. The public hospitals are minimalist in amenities while private hospitals offer a higher standard of comfort.