Safety & healthcare
Krakow ranks second as the safest city in Poland.
Students living in Krakow will be entitled to use the public healthcare system as long as they have acquired state healthcare insurance. Many of the doctors and staff do speak English. There are also high-quality private healthcare institutions offering their services for people who acquired private healthcare insurance. The private healthcare facilities in Krakow include LUX MED, Medicover, Enel-Med, and Optus.
Poland is generally safer than most European countries, and Krakow is safer than other major cities in Poland. In fact, Krakow ranks second among the safest and most open for people of different religions and ethnicities cities in Poland. Common sense and elementary precautions will keep you perfectly safe in Krakow.
The emergency phone number for integrated services is 112 – toll-free. Unfortunately, there is a chance the person answering the call will not speak English. So, if you do not speak Polish, get somebody who does, which should not be difficult. Police stations do not employ interpreters, but they will bring one from the Krakow headquarters if necessary.
Poland’s state police have launched a phone service in English and German for foreign visitors. Call toll-free 0800 200300 to get info on the country’s public safety, safe travel, and to ask help if necessary. Those roaming with foreign-based cell phones should dial +48 22 6015555 instead. The service is available around the week from 8 AM until midnight.
The emergency wards are required to provide assistance to everybody in need of immediate medical care, no matter whether they are locals or foreigners, with or without valid health insurance (eventually, somebody will have to cover the bill, be it an insurance company or you yourself). Medical help is provided free of charge in case of actual emergencies such as accidents, fires, heart attacks, fractures, food poisoning.
Below you will find a list of hospitals which offer emergency ward services around-the-clock, 24/7. The emergency ward is called SOR or Szpitalny Oddzial Ratunkowy in Polish.