This is the end of referrals to this specialist. Faster access to the National Health Fund, but not everywhere. Where to use?

The new way of making appointments with a doctor will be simpler and faster.  It is known when the change will come into force

Although referrals to a psychologist were to be abolished permanently, they are still in force. However, in some places such assistance can be obtained without this document. We explain how it works.

Treatment under the National Health Fund can be a complicated and long-term process. This includes, among other things, the need to have a referral to a specialist, which must first be issued by a family doctor. However, this is not always mandatory. During the pandemic, an exception was the psychologist – patients did not need a referral to him. Although those in power proudly announced that this change would stay with us forever, unfortunately this did not happen. Now, however, a great improvement has come into force for patients. We are talking about Mental Health Centers (CZP), where psychological help can be obtained without this document.

A referral to a psychologist is not always needed

On July 1, 2023, the state of epidemic threat was lifted. Therefore, the old rules regarding referral to a psychologist also came into force. In practice, this means that it is still required to be able to see a specialist under the National Health Fund. However, now such access has been made much easier because in some situations this document is not required. All thanks to the pilot program in Mental Health Centers.

A patient may come to the Mental Health Center without such a referral. This solution is intended to help, among other things, prepare systemic changes after the end of the current pilot program in which over 120 medical facilities participate.

The project introduced a change in the possibility of obtaining psychological services at reporting and coordination points without the need for a referral. The purpose of excluding the need for a referral in the scope of the pilot program is to check the impact of this fact on changes in the availability of psychological services – reads the justification for the project published by the Ministry of Health.

What is the Mental Health Center and how does it work?

At the Mental Health Center, patients can receive the necessary psychological help without the need for a referral. There is no need to make an appointment, and such support is completely free and operates 24 hours a day. Such Mental Health Centers are dedicated to people over 18 years of age.

Support from CZP is fast, free and close to home. You can use the map of centers and check where exactly the places where you can get help are located. It is tailored to individual needs – these may include visits to the clinic, but also stays in a day or 24-hour ward. You can also use the support of the community treatment team – they visit the patient at home, helping him and his family. See where else to seek help in a mental crisis. You can also use such help outside the National Health Fund. However, check in advance how much a private visit to a psychologist costs.

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