Life & work
All employers in Poland are required by law to arrange a medical assessment for their new hires before they start a job under a contract of employment. The aim of such an assessment is to prevent work-related injuries and to ensure that the successful candidate is physically fit to perform their duties, i.e. that they have no underlying medical condition that would put them at increased health risk in the workplace. That is why you should receive a medical referral from your future employer once you have accepted the job offer.
What can you expect at the doctor’s office?
Occupational health assessments can vary greatly depending on your industry, occupation or even job position. Office workers, for example, spend most of their time in front of computer screens, which is why they are referred to an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. If you happen to have a vision defect, an ophthalmologist will give you a prescription for glasses which can be partly reimbursed by your employer. Some professions (e.g. teachers) may require an ENT (otolaryngology) examination to diagnose any potential hearing problems or voice disorders. Those who may come into contact with respiratory irritants at work (dusts, fumes, chemicals etc.) will likely undergo a spirometry test to rule out any breathing disorders and reduce the risk of occupational respiratory diseases.
All soon-to-be employees are also required to receive a general health assessment, which usually includes a blood pressure test and a brief health survey - you can expect the doctor to ask you a few questions about your medical history, prescribed medications or any long-term health conditions. Depending on the type of work you will be doing, the check-up may also involve a range of other examinations e.g. a blood test, heart screening or mental health assessment. However, there is no need to worry if you are not sure how to prepare for your appointment - all the necessary details will be provided to you in advance by the employer.
If you can safely carry out your duties, you will receive a certificate of fitness for work at the end of your appointment. Remember to submit the document to your employer afterwards.
The pre-employment or preliminary health assessment is not the only one you can expect during your professional career in Poland. Any person who works under a contract of employment is required to undergo routine health checks, even if they do not change job positions or employers. The frequency of such check-ups usually depends on the occupation and the doctor’s recommendations.