Organization of the professional self-government of physicians and dentists in Poland

The Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists (Naczelna Izba Lekarska) and the regional chambers of physicians and dentists (okręgowe izby lekarskie) are the organizational bodies of the professional self-government of physicians and dental practitioners who are associated in the chambers with equal status.

There are currently 23 regional chambers and a separate chamber of military physicians and dentists that has legal status of the regional chamber although it is active in the entire country. Chambers of physicians and dentists deal with all kinds of matters concerning the exercise of medicine and dentistry in Poland.

The highest authority of the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists is the General Medical Assembly whereas the regional medical assemblies are the highest authorities of the regional chambers. In the period between assemblies - the Supreme Medical Council and regional medical councils respectively.

The jurisdiction of the regional chambers of physicians and dentists and their headquarters are determined by the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists, in consideration of the basic territorial division of Poland. Democratically elected representatives (delegates) meet at the regional medical assemblies. The regional assembly, in a secret ballot, elects the president and members of the regional medical council, members of some statutory offices (the screener for professional liability, the medical court) and representatives to the General Medical Assembly.

The General Medical Assembly elects the President of the Supreme Medical Council, members of the Supreme Medical Council, the Supreme Screener and Deputy Screeners for Professional Liability, members of the Supreme Medical Court and the Supreme Audit Committee.

The term of office for authorities of the chambers is 4 years. The Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists (consisting of elected representatives) and regional chambers (encompassing representatives and all members in the region) are self-governing, autonomous bodies of physicians and dentists, subject only to regulations of the laws and possessing legal status.

The Supreme Medical Council represents the medical professions at the state level, and regional councils at regional levels.

Membership in the chambers is mandatory. Every physician and every dental practitioner who holds the right to practice the profession in Poland is a member of the chamber by virtue of the law.

Number of members of the chambers as of 31 July 2014:
Physicians - 140 341
Dental practitioners - 39 369
Persons with both professional titles - 604