Inform us about wait times for Health Care
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According to data collected by the WHC Foundation, access to health services in Poland has been limited for many years. Average waiting time to see a Medical specialist approaches 2.5 months, but for certain specializations the queue is significantly longer. Because of the extremely long waiting time, making a timely appointment with an endocrinologist in some cities amounts to a miracle (Wrocław – 48 months; Warsaw – 14 months; Cracow – 9.2 months; Katowice – 8 months).

“Average waiting times for ‘guaranteed’ medical services have not improved. Since October and November 2015 until now, The WHC Foundation observed a stagnation of waiting times for health care services, 3 months on average”, says Jacek Siwiec, Vice-President of the Board for The WHC Foundation. “The queues haven’t shrunk – in a year-to-year comparison, the negative trend persists, which is unacceptable in case of access to ‘guaranteed medical services’”, he adds.

According to the newest WHC Barometer (data collected in June and July 2016), the average waiting time for a first time visit at an endocrinologist’s office is 9.8 months, but in some regions of Poland the access is even more limited. The longest waiting time was observed in the voivodships: dolnośląskie (27 months), opolskie (18.4 months) and mazowieckie (13 months).

According to the rules of the waiting lists package, health care providers are obliged to maintain lists of patients waiting for a first time visit, while following visits are scheduled by doctors. However, The WHC Barometer shows that many health care providers keep two separate queues: for first visits and for following visits.

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Apart from endocrinologists, patients find it the hardest to make an appointment with:

  • orthodontists (11.8 months)
  • angiologists (7.1 months)
  • cardiologists (7.1 months)
  • immunologists (5.9 months)
  • urologists (4.8 months)

The ‘waiting lists package’ introduced by the Ministry of Health has failed to decrease waiting times. According to the WHC Foundation Barometer, currently there is no field of medicine which would be free from queues. It is however difficult to say whether the problem stems from insufficient funds, poor organization of treatment and queue management, or perhaps elsewhere.

Possibly quick and timely diagnostics is a crucial aspect of successful treatment. Unfortunately, access limitations also apply here. At this time, Polish patients wait the longest for the following procedures:

  • hip joint arthrography (17.6 months)
  • spine MRI scan (8 months)
  • head MRI scan (7.5 months)
  • electrophysiology study (EPS) (7 months)
  • full body MRI scan (6.3 months)
  • sleep apnea study (5.6 months)
  • cerebral angiography (4.5 months)
  • Doppler ultrasound study of lower limbs (4.5 months)
  • child’s heart echo scan (4.3 months)
  • chest CT scan (3.5 months)


A full report with detailed analysis of collected data can be found at:

WHC Foundation press office:

Aneta Augustyn

(+48) 504 741 313



The Watch Health Care Foundation (WHC) was established in 2010. It was inspired by the increasing deficit in health care benefits offered by the public payer. This situation results in particularly severe deprivation or limitation of the patients’ access to basic health care benefits. The WHC Foundation accumulates and publishes verified data regarding health care services and medical procedures with access limitations.

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