On December 30, 2020, the existing regulations were amended, therefore doctors / dentists from outside the EU may start working in Polish medical facilities under new, additional simplified rules.
Doctor with specialization and three years of experience - A person who has obtained qualifications as a doctor or dentist outside the EU and has at least three years of professional experience may apply for the consent of the Minister of Health to practice the profession of a doctor or dentist in Poland and be awarded by the District Council Medical right to practice the profession of a doctor or dentist for a specific scope of professional activities, period and place of employment in a medical entity.
A doctor is looking for a job (job offer) to obtain a employment statement from a medical facility, which he submits, together with other documents, to the Ministry of Health for permission to practice the profession. Then, with the consent, he / she applies to the District Medical Chamber for the right to practice the profession for a specific scope of professional activities, period and place of employment. Depending on the voivodeship, you should report to the appropriate Regional Medical Chamber (example of the procedure in the Gdańsk branch). For more information, see the procedure below.
Who can benefit
The right to practice the profession of a doctor or dentist for a specific range of professional activities, period and place of employment in a medical entity may be granted to any person, regardless of nationality (also a Pole), who obtained the qualifications of a doctor or dentist outside the territory of the European Union Member States, including in:
- Has completed at least five-year studies in the field of medicine or medicine and dentistry and
- Has the title of a specialist doctor / dentist and
- Has a certificate from the entity conducting medical activity in Poland, who plans to employ her, and
- Has at least three years of professional experience as a specialist or dentist in a given field, obtained in the period of five years immediately preceding obtaining the certificate referred to in point 3.
People who hold a diploma from a country that was not part of the EU at the time of its issuance, but now belongs, have automatically recognized qualifications and do not need to benefit from a simplified access system to the profession of medical doctor and dentist.
Remember - if you plan to start working in the Polish health service, make sure you legalize/apostille your medical diploma and a visa in advance.
What you need to do
- If you want to start work in the Polish medical service, contact a Polish health care provider (current job offers) to obtain a testimonial with details of the provider's departments and the planned period of your employment. The certificate should also specify the scope of medical work as part of your employment, according to your medical specialty.
- Complete and sign the application form to the Ministry of Health. Please note that the application must show your handwritten signature. Remember to provide your postal address, e-mail address and phone number in the form. You need to provide all the following documents to support your application:
Number the attached documents according to the ordinal number indicated in the application, mark translations of documents with the letter a.
1) A certificate from your prospective employer (health care provider) with the following information:
a)Your full name (the full name of the person to be employed).
b)List of the health care provider's departments where you could work as a medical specialist.
c)The period of your planned employment.
d)Scope of the medical work you would be required to perform according to your medical specialty.
2) Your written statement with your handwritten signature that your Polish-language skills are sufficient to perform your work duties.
3) Your written statement worded as follows: I state that I have full legal capacity to perform acts in law and understand that I may be criminally liable if this statement is false" (this statement must shows your full name, the place and date of the statement and your signature). Statement in Polish:"Świadomy odpowiedzialności karnej za złożenie fałszywego oświadczenia oświadczam, że posiadam pełną zdolność do czynności prawnych"
4) A document from a doctor certifying that you are fit to work as a doctor or a dental practitioner. This document may be issued by both a Polish doctor and a doctor from your country of origin, but then it must be translated into Polish by a sworn translator (remember, the document may be presented within 3 months from the date of its issuance, which means that the decision is valid for a period of three months from the date of its issue).
5) Documents certifying your proper ethical conduct:
Your written statement: "I understand that I may be criminally liable for making a false statement and state that I have never been convicted of an intentional criminal offence or an intentional fiscal criminal offence and that no criminal investigation or proceedings are pending against my connection with an intentional criminal offence or an intentional fiscal criminal offence, and that no circumstances exist which might affect my practice as a doctor or a dental practitioner in the Republic of Poland, as specified in the Polish Code of Medical Ethics or similar regulations, with respect to the requirement set out in Art. 5(1)(5) of the Act of 5 December 1996on the Professions of Doctor and Dental Practitioner"(please note that this statement must show your full name, the place and date of the statement and your signature). In Polish: „Świadomy odpowiedzialności karnej za złożenie fałszywego oświadczenia oświadczam, że nie byłem karany za umyślne przestępstwo lub umyślne przestępstwo skarbowe oraz że nie toczy się przeciwko mnie postępowanie karne w sprawie o umyślnie popełnione przestępstwo lub przestępstwo skarbowe, oraz że nie zachodzą okoliczności, które zgodnie z Kodeksem Etyki Lekarskiej oraz innymi przepisami prawa, w rozumieniu wymogu określonego w art. 5 ust. 1 pkt 5 ustawy z dnia 5 grudnia 1996 r. o zawodach lekarza i lekarza dentysty, mogłyby mieć wpływ na wykonywanie zawodu lekarza lub lekarza dentysty na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej”
Document 2 (if it is possible to obtain it, in the given country of the doctor's origin)
A document certifying that you have never been convicted of professional misconduct and that you meet the applicable ethical conduct requirements. This document must be issued by an authority in a country where you have practised or continue to practise your profession.
6) A document issued by the relevant authority certifying that you have at least three years professional experience as a doctor specialising in any of the branches of medicine listed in Annex 1 to the Regulation of the Minister of Health of 31 August 2020 on Medical and Dental Specialties (Dz.U. [Journal of Laws] of 2020, item 1566) and that you completed the three-year period of experience within the five-year period immediately preceding the issue of the certificate mentioned in paragraph 1.
7) Doctor's / dentist's diploma confirming completion of at least five-year studies. This document must be legalized by the consul of the Republic of Poland competent for the country on whose territory or in whose higher education system the document was issued or marked with an apostille.
8) Diploma confirming obtaining the title of specialist issued by the competent authority in a given state. This document must be legalized by the consul of the Republic of Poland competent for the country on whose territory or in whose higher education system the document was issued or marked with an apostille.
If a document needs to be authenticated and legalized by a consul, or an apostille issued by a competent state authority, which procedure will have to be followed, decides which country has issued the document:
- if the diploma was issued in a country that is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents (a list of these countries can be found HERE), you must apply for an apostille to it at the competent office of the country where the document was issued (the list of these offices can be found HERE).
- if the diploma was issued in a country that is not a party to this Convention, you will have to apply for its authentication at the competent office of the country where the document was issued (most often it is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and then for its legalization at a Polish consulate. If you submit an application to the consul to legalize a document (e.g. a diploma), this operation will be subject to an additional fee. Information about it can be found on the website of the relevant consulate - select the options "Consular information" - "General information" - "Consular fees".
In the event that the authentication or legalization of documents or obtaining an apostille is excessively difficult or impossible, the Minister of Health will be able to release the applicant from this obligation.
9) Document describing the program of specialization training (program list) issued by the competent authority (from the country where the specialization was obtained). The document is to confirm that the completed specialization program corresponds in essential substantive elements to the specialization training program in the Republic of Poland.
10) Other documents issued by the relevant authority certifying that you have the professional qualifications necessary to perform the work duties specified in the certificate mentioned in paragraph 1.
Requirements to be met by the documents submitted by you to the Minister of Health
- Please note that all your documents originally issued in a language other than Polish must be accompanied by their certified translations into Polish issued by a sworn translator from your country or registered by the Polish Minister of Justice (register of translators). Please remember that the translator should refer to the list of specializations from the REGULATION OF THE MINISTER OF HEALTH of August 31, 2020 on the specializations of doctors and dentists (download the regulation), the list of specializations is on pages 18 to 25.
- All your documents must be originals and not photocopies. You may, however, submit a copy of an original document if the copy has been certified by a Polish notary, a Polish consul, or a person representing you as your agent (i.e. a lawyer, a patent attorney or a licensed tax adviser)
Course of the proceedings
On the basis of the documents attached to the application, the Minister of Health may (not obligatory) request an opinion to:
1) a national consultant competent in a given field of medicine, and in the absence of such a consultant, a national consultant in a related field, or
2) a voivodeship consultant competent in a given field of medicine or in a related field, in the area of the voivodeship where the person intends to practice.
The Minister of Health gives his consent in the form of an administrative decision or refuses to consent to the practice of the profession of a doctor / dentist and to a specific scope of professional activities, time and place of employment in the entity performing therapeutic activities. The consent is issued by the Minister of Health in the form of a decision issued with the so-called the rigor of immediate enforceability, which means that the decision is enforceable immediately (immediately) after its issuance.
If the application does not contain all the required documents, the Ministry of Health will contact you and ask you to complete it.
The sent documents will be returned after the end of the procedure by traditional mail to the correspondence address provided in the application, only if you have asked the Minister of Health with such a request (you can contact the Minister of Health at any time with a request to return the submitted documents) in a paper form sent to the address of the ministry. Click here to download the template.
If you have received a positive decision, go to the District Medical Council competent for the place of your planned employment in order to grant the right to practice the profession for the specific scope of professional activities indicated in the decision and the period and place of their performance.
Upon presentation of the decision, which you received from the Minister of Health, the district medical council will grant you the license to practice the profession and issue the document "license to practice medicine" or "license to practice dentist". The district medical council grants the license to practice and issues the document "The license to practice medicine" or the "License to practice the profession of dentist" within 7 days of receiving the decision of the Minister of Health.
In the document "License to practice the profession of a doctor" or "License to practice the profession of dentist", the district medical council shall include information on the scope of professional activities, period and place of practicing the profession.
If the district medical council does not grant you the right to practice the profession within 7 days from the date of receipt of the decision of the Minister of Health, or if he refuses to grant the right to practice, until the final conclusion of the procedure for granting the right to practice specified in the decision of the Minister of Health and during this period you are considered a doctor or dentist having the appropriate license to practice.
If you receive a negative decision, you have 14 days to apply for a reconsideration. Send the application to the address of the Ministry of Health.
Duration of the administrative procedure
Administrative proceedings may take up to a month, and in complicated cases up to two months.
Where to submit or send your application
You may send your application form and supporting documents to the following address (the address must be written in Polish):
Ministerstwo Zdrowia (EN: Ministry of Health)
Departament Rozwoju Kadr Medycznych (Department for Medical Personnel Development)
or you may submit your documents in person at the front desk of the Ministry of Health.
or submitted through a consul of the Republic of Poland. The consul sends electronically mapped documents to the minister responsible for health via electronic means of communication
Applications can be submitted at any time.
Materials for download
- Model application
- List of attachments for the application
- Oświadczenie o znajomości języka polskiego lekarz/ lekarz dentysta
- Oświadczenie pełnej zdolności do czynności prawnych
- Szablon-zaświadczenie/promesa lekarz/ lekarz dentysta
- Oświadczenie odpowiedzialności karnej/ wykazuje nienaganną postawę etyczną lekarz/ lekarz dentysta
- Oświadczenie o braku wymaganych dokumentów
- Podanie o zwrot przesłanych dokumentów
- Orzeczenie o stanie zdrowia
Announcement of the Marshal of the Seym of the Republic of Poland of February 28, 2020 on the publication of the uniform text of the act on the professions of doctor and dentist, Journal of Laws No. 2020 item 514
Regulation of the Minister of Health of August 31, 2020 on the specialization of doctors and dentists, Journal of Laws No. 2020 item 1566
Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, signed at The Hague on October 5, 1961. 2005 No.112, item 938
PL: Obwieszczenie Marszałka Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 28 lutego 2020 r. w sprawie ogłoszenia jednolitego tekstu ustawy o zawodach lekarza i lekarza dentysty Dz.U. 2020 poz. 514
Rozporządzenie Ministra Zdrowia z dnia 31 sierpnia 2020 r. w sprawie specjalizacji lekarzy i lekarzy dentystów Dz.U. 2020 poz. 1566
Konwencja znosząca wymóg legalizacji zagranicznych dokumentów urzędowych, sporządzona w Hadze dnia 5 października 1961 r. Dz.U. 2005 nr 112 poz. 938
What are the costs
This service is free of charge. No fees apply.
1.The right to practice may be granted for a period not exceeding 5 years, without the possibility of its extension.
2. On the basis of the right to practice your profession, you can practice your profession in the territory of the Republic of Poland only in a medical entity indicated in the decision of the Minister of Health.
3. Based on the right to practice your profession, you will perform health services for 1 year under the supervision of a guardian who is a doctor with a second degree specialization or the title of specialist in a given field of medicine appointed by the head of the entity that issued your certificate.
4.The district medical council (PL: Okręgowa rada lekarska), immediately after receiving the information about the termination of the employment contract with you from the entity that issued the certificate, will strike you off the register of doctors, which means the expiry of your right to practice.
Good to know
During the period of employment under the above rules, as a person who obtained qualifications outside the EU, you will be able to:
1) proceed with the recognition of your diploma at one of the universities in Poland or
2) take the Medical Verification Examination / Medical-Dental Verification Examination conducted by the Medical Examinations Center in Łódź (Centrum Egzaminów Medycznych w Łodzi),
3) complete a postgraduate internship in Poland or recognize a postgraduate internship abroad (the decision on the recognition of the internship is issued by the Minister of Health - the application is submitted to the Medical Center for Postgraduate Education, when the internship is carried out outside the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and to the Minister of Health, when the internship is carried out in a Member State of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland),
4) submit the Final Medical Examination / Medical-Dental Final Examination conducted by the Medical Examinations Center in Łódź, which if it is passed with a positive result and after meeting other conditions indicated in points 1) or 2) and 3) will allow to obtain the license to practice as a doctor or the license to practice as a dentist.
Obtaining the right to practice a profession without restrictions will allow you to apply for recognition of the specialist title obtained outside the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland as equivalent to the title of specialist in the Republic of Poland (the decision in this matter is issued by the Minister of Health - the application is submitted to the Medical Center Postgraduate education/Centrum Medycznego Kształcenia Podyplomowego).
The subject of the nostrification of the diploma or the Medical Verification Examination pass is described in more detail HERE.