Go directly to legislation of specific CAM therapies in Poland:
Acupuncture – Anthroposophic medicine – Ayurveda – Chiropractic – Herbal medicine/Phytotherapy – Homeopathy – Massage – Naprapathy – Naturopathy – Neural therapy – Osteopathy – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - Other treatments
Poland became a member of the European Union (EU) in 2004 (11) and a member of the Council of Europe on 26 November 1991 (12).
The legal and regulatory status of CAM and CAM practices
In Poland only medical doctors and dentists are allowed to treat patients (225). Consequently only medically qualified professionals may provide CAM treatment (106). Legal regulation of professions describe that all medical professions may be divided into two categories: professions regulated by law and others.
The first category includes physicians, dentists, veterinary surgeons, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, psychologists, nurses and midwives, barber surgeons, and dental technicians. To practise the medical profession for doctors and dentists means to provide health services, in particular to: examine patients’ health condition, diagnose diseases and prevent them, apply appropriate therapy and rehabilitation, ensure consultations, issue expert opinions and health certificates (226). Only physicians who have completed specialisation in one of the basic disciplines may apply for admission to specialisation courses in any other discipline (226).
According to Law on Nursing and Midwifery Professions, the professions of nurse and midwife are independent professions. They are entitled to provide health and particularly medical services on their own not being entirely dependent on doctors orders (226). The National Centre for Quality Assessment in Health Care manages the accreditation of health care providers and the training of health care professionals (189).
The governmental supervision of CAM Practices
Health professions are organized by statute into three associations, or chambers, membership of which is mandatory. The chambers cover physicians and dentists, nurses and midwives, and pharmacists. All oversee claims of professional malpractice and can revoke the permission to practise. District chambers represent each profession at regional level and maintain a register of eligible practitioners and private practices. The chambers also issue licences to physicians, nurses and midwives for private practice (189).
The reimbursement status of CAM practices and medicinal products
Homeopathy consultations are free of charge, provided the patient is treated by a homeopathic doctor working within the national healthcare service. Homeopathic treatment may be free of charge if provided by a homeopathic doctor in a hospital (70).
Health care funding in Poland is regulated mainly by the law on health benefits funded from public means (227). From 2012 the Polish Parliament adopted a new law governing the reimbursement of medicinal products, medical devices and food for special medical purposes (228).
11. EUROPA. Gateway to the European Union; member countries. Brussels EUROPA
Communication department of the European Commission; 2011 [cited 2011 November 3]; Available from: http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/index_en.htm.
12. Council of Europe. Council of Europe. Strasbourg: Council of Europe; 2011 [cited 2011
November 7]; Available from: http://www.coe.int/lportal/web/coe-portal.
70. ECCH. The Legal Situation for the Practice of Homeopathy in Europe; Revised Edition 2009. European Council for Classical Homeopathy (ECCH), 2009 May 2006. Report No.: 2009.
106. CAMDOC Alliance ECH ECPM ICMART and IVAA. The regulatory status of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for medical doctors in Europe. Brussels 2010 January 2010. Report No.: 2010.
189. WHO; European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. The Health Care Workforce in Europe; Learning from experience. The United Kingdom by The Cromwell Press, Trowbridge, Wilts: World Health Organization, 2006.
225. Tomasz Kokoszczyński; Polish Homeopathic Society. Report about Homeopathy in Poland 2007/2008. Berlin: Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis (LMHI); 2012 [cited 2012 February 28]; Available from: http://liga.iwmh.net/index.php?menuid=1&reporeid=111.
226. Ministry of Health Poland. Medical Education: The system and challenges. 2012 [cited 2012 February 27]; Available from: http://www.mz.gov.pl/wwwmzold/index?mr=m0&ms=&ml=en&mi=535&mx=0&mt=&my=464&ma=5168.
227. Kuszewski K, Gericke C. Health Systems in Transition: Poland. In: Gericke C, Busse R, editors.Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, on behalf of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies; 2005.
228. CMS Cameron McKenna, Duszynska M, Slawatyniec L. New reimbursement procedure for medicinal products; comes into force 1 January 2012.: Lexology – Globe Business Publishing Ltd.; 2012 [cited 2012 February 27]; Available from: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=2ac4373e-fba0-4cc2-8be6-2f45a662c43e.