What is Prophylaxis 40 plus? Can refugees from Ukraine currently in Poland benefit from the program, and if so, how? Where to obtain the necessary referral for free examinations? You will find the answer to these and other questions in this article. We encourage you to read it!
What is Prophylaxis 40 plus?
Many diseases, especially in the early stages, do not show symptoms that might cause concern. Meanwhile, often ailments can be quickly cured in the initial stage. Therefore, it is worth doing preventive examinations. A package of such examinations is available within the Prophylaxis 40 plus program. They have been selected to detect common diseases earlier. The program is designed to help patients avoid prolonged treatment resulting from a too late diagnosis. It focuses primarily on detecting cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Prophylaxis 40 plus is a health program aimed at everyone entitled to health care in Poland over the age of 40. This means that citizens of Ukraine living legally in Poland can also benefit from it. As part of the campaign, a one-time package of free examinations is available. The program is scheduled to end in June 2024.
Prophylaxis 40 plus: List of Available Examinations
The Prophylaxis 40 plus program offers separate examination packages for women and men, as well as a joint package. According to the Ministry of Health, the list of examinations includes:
- Complete blood count with differential and platelets – this test can preliminarily detect acute and chronic inflammatory states, immune disorders, autoimmune diseases, blood diseases such as bleeding disorders, anemia, cancers (e.g., leukemia);
- Total cholesterol concentration or a control lipid profile – to assess the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. These tests are also helpful in diagnosing lipid metabolism disorders, including cholesterol and triglyceride levels;
- Blood glucose concentration – used to diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions;
- Liver tests: AlAT, AspAT, GGTP – provide information about the state of the liver and other organs. They help detect hepatitis caused by viruses B and C, fatty liver disease caused by obesity, lipid metabolism disorders, diabetes, or alcohol abuse. Liver tests also allow for the detection of liver cancers;
- Blood creatinine level – mainly tested to assess proper kidney function and may indicate the need for further diagnostic tests;
- General urine examination – important in diagnosing, prognosticating, and monitoring the course of many diseases, primarily of the kidneys and urinary tract;
- Blood uric acid level – most often used to detect gout, but also poisoning and liver failure;
- Immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) – primarily performed for the early detection of colorectal cancer and in the diagnosis of diseases related to digestive system disorders;
- Blood pressure measurement – allows for the detection of hypertension;
- Measurement of body weight, height, waist circumference;
- Calculation of the Body Mass Index (BMI).
Additionally, for men, the Ministry of Health has provided a PSA test, which checks the level of prostate-specific antigen and enables early detection of prostate cancer.
Which tests one will be referred to within the program depends on the responses in the questionnaire that must be completed when signing up for the program.
Prophylaxis 40 plus for Refugees from Ukraine
Individuals who arrived from Ukraine after February 24, 2022, can access medical care in Polish facilities that have signed agreements with the National Health Fund (NFZ) on the same terms as Polish citizens. This is guaranteed by the Act on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine.
The Act also provides medical care for:
- wives and husbands of persons from Ukraine who do not have Ukrainian citizenship,
- citizens of Ukraine who have the Polish Card (Karta Polaka),
- members of their families and persons living together in a common-law relationship.
Therefore, refugees from Ukraine who have completed their 40th year of life can benefit from the Prophylaxis 40 plus program.
How to participate in the campaign? First, one needs to fill out a questionnaire. It is available on the Internet Patient Account and at the helpline number 989, or directly in a laboratory participating in the program. Unfortunately, it is currently only available in Polish, and, as communicated to us by the press office of the Ministry of Health, the preparation of a Ukrainian-language version is only being considered.
The questionnaire can be found in the Internet Patient Account. To access it, one should go to the Prophylaxis tab and select Surveys. It can also be filled out by using the 989 helpline. Some laboratories provide assistance to people from Ukraine in filling out the questionnaire, but such support is not guaranteed and depends on the decision of the particular facility.
Preliminary Questionnaire and Referral for Examinations
The questionnaire has been prepared for people in two age groups: from 40 to 64 years old, and 65 years and older.
Responses in the questionnaire for people up to 64 years of age are given by selecting one option, and where necessary, several. The questions concern:
- body weight, height, and waist circumference,
- risk of cardiovascular diseases,
- physical activity,
- alcohol consumption,
- smoking or other forms of tobacco and nicotine use,
- risk of oncological diseases.
The questionnaire for people over the age of 65 is shorter. It consists of questions that need to be answered with “yes” or “no”. The person providing the answers will be asked about:
- undergoing the following examinations in the last 12 months:
- blood pressure,
- cholesterol level,
- glucose/sugar level,
- leading an active lifestyle,
- smoking tobacco,
- being treated for thyroid/endocrinological diseases,
- symptoms related to the digestive tract such as changes in bowel rhythm or blood in stool,
- the occurrence of overweight in the siblings, parents, or children of the respondent,
- whether siblings, parents, or children have had cancer of the digestive tract.
After answering the questions in the Internet Patient Account, the person filling out the questionnaire will receive an offer of selected examinations. This offer must be confirmed, and then wait for the system to generate an e-referral, which may take up to 2 business days. Information about the referral will be sent to the account owner’s phone number or email.
How to Sign Up for the Examination?
After receiving the referral, the program participant should select a laboratory participating in the program and arrange to have the examinations carried out. The Ministry of Health has prepared a map with addresses and phone numbers of facilities participating in the Prophylaxis 40 plus program (here). Currently, the page is available only in Polish.
Information in Ukrainian is provided by a special helpline of the National Health Fund. By calling 800 190 590, callers can receive information about the rules for using healthcare services in Poland. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.