Patients who have been referred to an orthopedist usually look for places where he or she is admitted under the National Health Fund. The advantage of such a visit is the fact that it is completely free. In addition, the doctor can prescribe reimbursed drugs or issue a prescription for specialized medical equipment. Patients only need to be insured, i.e. pay a health premium. Then they can freely use the services of an orthopedist under the National Health Fund. Where is the orthopedist admitted under the contract with the National Health Fund? How can we find the next appointment date?
Most often, the orthopedist sees patients under the contract signed with the fund in NZOZ clinics. These are medical points that we associate primarily with a visit to a family doctor. Nevertheless, more and more often they also employ doctors of other specialties. They employ orthopedists, but also cardiologists, neurologists and other medics.
A NZOZ clinic is located in almost every city, regardless of the number of its inhabitants. This does not mean, however, that each of them employs an orthopedist. Why? The reason is that there are relatively few doctors in this specialty. Therefore, they most often accept them under the National Health Fund only in larger cities, in public clinics. The orthopedic doctor usually sees you on a selected day of the week, not during the entire working week.
Hospital outpatient clinic
There are also specialist clinics at almost every hospital. Importantly, they usually employ doctors who are also employed in a hospital ward. Thanks to this, the doctor can immediately issue a referral for admission to the ward, if necessary. There, he can perform more complex procedures, such as hip arthroplasty or meniscus arthroscopy. Also after orthopedic procedures performed in the ward (such as the aforementioned arthroscopy or alloplasty), you can make an appointment for a follow-up visit directly at the outpatient clinic. Unfortunately, appointment times for new patients are usually very far away.
The reason is that patients previously treated in a hospital ward are admitted first. The advantage of hospital clinics is that they do not usually accept patients privately. Thanks to this, the doctor is focused on treating patients under the National Health Fund. You must have a referral from your family doctor to the outpatient clinic. However, it is no different from a referral to a normal clinic. Nevertheless, let us remember that the orthopedic clinic does not work at every hospital.
In some cities, mainly the larger ones, there are specialized orthopedic clinics. They are focused only on the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Many of them accept patients only privately, but many also have a signed contract with the National Health Fund. Patients appreciate orthopedic clinics very much. They have specialized, modern equipment, thanks to which the doctor can conduct the necessary examinations on the spot. The downside, however, is the waiting time for an appointment. In addition, we must take into account the fact that orthopedic centers are usually located in large cities. As a result, people from smaller towns have very limited access to this type of points.
Private medical practice
Although the name itself suggests that in a private office we have to pay for a visit, this is not always the case. Some doctors running their own practices also have a signed contract with the National Health Fund for the provision of health services. Nevertheless, let us remember that this does not apply to every orthopedic office. How to check if a given doctor has a signed contract with the National Health Fund? Just call and ask if he only accepts privately or also funded.
On the Internet, you will also find a list of institutions with which the National Health Fund has signed an agreement. Nevertheless, online lists are not entirely authoritative. Why? Because they are not always updated on a regular basis. The contract with the National Health Fund is signed only for a certain period of time, and if not extended, it simply expires. Despite this, it is worth finding out whether a given doctor will accept us under the National Health Fund. Few patients realize that in private surgeries we do not always have to pay for a visit. Thanks to this, the waiting time for it can be slightly shorter.
How to sign up quickly for an orthopedist?
Every patient would like to see an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible. However, this is not always possible. Often the waiting time for an appointment is even several weeks. On the NFZ website, we can check where the waiting time for an appointment is the shortest. Here again, however, the data will not necessarily be reliable due to the lack of current updates. So all we have to do is call and ask about the nearest possible date of visit at various points. Without this, it will be difficult for us to find a place where the orthopedist will see us the fastest.
Remember that we can only sign up for one visit per referral. This means that we cannot book a place in several clinics at the same time.