Hospitals in Krakow and beyond are complaining of foreigners who check in, check out, and never pay their bills.
In most cases, uninsured patients admitted to the Emergency Room give incorrect contact information and then are impossible for the hospital to find afterward.
Radio Krakow reports that last year this problem caused hospitals in Małopolska to accrue 3,170,000 PLN of debt, 750,000 of which is still unpaid – about the cost of a fully-equipped ambulance.
Jagiellonian University Hospital director Marcin Jędrychowski reports that the largest number of bill-dodging patients are American, and that requests to the US embassy have been ineffective.
Hospital administrators are working on how to address the problem, most likely by implementing better systems to check patients’ insurance status and the validity of their data while they are still in the hospital.