Off the Polish Emergency Room

Last weekend we had some excitement in our house.  At 6 o’clock in the morning my husband woke me up and said, “you need to get up and take me to a doctor or emergency room or whatever to get me out of this pain.”  Well he went bed the night before with some ear pain but we thought it was just him coming down with a cold.  We were wrong!

So first call was to a friend to see what emergency room I need to take him too.  Yes, you can’t just walk into emergency room here and expect treatment.  Now if it is life threatening they will treat patients but if it not life threatening they will refer to the hospital on call.   Each of the hospitals takes turns being the “go to” emergency room.  Since we were not sure which hospital was the one to go to we went the nearest one to our house, the Polish Army hospital. We figured if it isn’t the right one they will let us know which one is, as it was too early to call any of our friends to ask them.  Then since we are unsure of the language barrier we called our handy church missionaries to go with us to help translate as they are supposed to out of bed and getting ready for the day that early. Off the Polish emergency room the 4 of us went.

So we walk into the emergency room and it is a ghost town not a single person there.  Just 2 ladies behind the registration counter.  She spoke some English but since we had the missionaries with us we just did Polish to speed it along as my hubby was in a lot of pain.  We found out because of his job, this hospital will see him no matter what. Lucky for us!!  The paperwork is NOTHING like in the US for the emergency room. 1 little paper with his personal information and that was it, 2 minutes later we were done.  Because of the health insurance he has with his job, they do not file directly with our insurance so we are considered “private pay” in the Polish system eyes so that means, we pay up front and then we file directly with our insurance. Unique but it works.

Turn in the paperwork to the lady, she picks up the phone to make a call and 30 seconds later we are off the 7th floor to see an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.

Well if you don't read Polish, no worries!  They have pictures.  Some are differently interesting.

Well if you don’t read Polish, no worries! They have pictures. Some are defiantly interesting.

As soon as we found the doctor’s office, the doctor was already waiting for us in the hallway.

Doesn't this is look like a cheery place?

Doesn’t this is look like a cheery place?

Less than 5 minutes later he is done finding out he has one heck of an ear infection in his one ear.  Back to the registration desk with the paperwork the doctor gave and then time to pay our bill.  OK are you sitting down?  It was 150 zlotys which is about $50.  In the US it is $50 just to fill out the paperwork.

So next stop the pharmacy to get his medication.  Thank goodness for 24 hour pharmacies and better yet that I knew where it was so when it was 7:30 in the morning as the normal stores are not open for another hour and half.

Time to get him better with all this medicine.

Time to get him better with all this medicine.  They don’t do bottle like we do in the US it is straight from the box.

After the medicine finally started kicking in 2 hours later I get a text message from him while I am at swimming lessons with my youngest 2, Him…”there is blood coming from ear, is that good?”  Me…”NO!” Long story short his ear ruptured and besides the mess it made for the next 2 days, the pain actually got better since the pressure was gone.

We survived our first (and hopefully our only) to Polish emergency room and it wasn’t as bad as I thought!

How many times in your life have you been to the emergency room? Me, only once when I was kid when I fell face first off my bike. Now I probably jinxed myself.

love kelley
This entry was posted in Bydgoszcz, Family, Poland and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Off the Polish Emergency Room

  1. Scott R. Lucado says:

    Glad to hear your husband is better. Scary stuff.

    As for my own emergency room visits, the less said the better. Spent one of my birthdays in one, for an injury that put me in a wheelchair for 4 months. No fun at all!

  2. Adam says:

    It’s nice you like Polish emergency room. I live in Poland so I don’t pay but it’s good to know prices ;) I was in US emergency room. There was a lot more of paperwork and the bill was almost 3000$ + pills (I don’t remember the price). I like to read foreigners’ point of view on living in Poland so I will be visiting your blog more often.

  3. bitowo says:


    you wrote a lot about polish emergency room and hospitals . Really polish hospitals are cheap ?? I always thought polish hospitals are expensive . I’m interested if in Poland hospitals(in you’re opinion) are cheap how much it would cost in US ?
    I was in hospital only 3 times and i dont want be more times :P

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge