According to Wojciech Andrusiewicz – the spokesman of ZUS (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych – the Polish Social Security system) – to date over 56% of Sick Notes had been issued in electronic form. Starting Saturday December 1st, the issue of e-notes as the legally mandated form of the L4 Medical Certificate is now obligatory. Hardcopies will be accepted only in exceptional instances, such as IT system breakdowns, internet access downtime or lack of IT equipment at the Doctor’s Practice.
e-Sick Notes in Poland
E-ZLA, the short name for e-Sick Notes, made its first appearance in Poland in early 2016. During its introduction ZUS had worked together with e.g. the NFZ (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia – Polish National Health System), as well as directly with staff at hospitals, at medical practices or at policlinics. To assist physicians with learning how to issue e-Sick Notes ZUS ran a dedicated helpline and an online help-desk – the “Wirtualny Doradca” – on its website, thus providing access to ZUS consultants.
The rationale behind the introduction of e-Sick Notes is to cut back on the red tape that patients have to deal with and to make physicians’ work easier just as well. The raising of such an e-document takes only a few seconds. With access to the database it is enough for the health care professional to input the patient’s PESEL ID no., add the relevant illness code and attach their e-signature, with the remaining boxes being be filled automatically and sent to the ZUS.
ZUS declared its support during the move to the e-platform
On the eve of new regulations concerning Sick Notes beginning to apply, physicians all over the country could consult ZUS Customer Service staff. In parallel on December 1st 2018 ZUS held a so-called White Saturday at its Offices, during which medical professionals could consult all their issues with the newly introduced e-ZLA e-platform. The start of the month also was the last chance for physicians to register their profile with the Electronic Services Platform (Polish acronym – PUE) and to obtain certification necessary to raise e-Sick Notes.
The electronic form of L4 Sick Notes is to be an aid for physicians as well as employers. Hence the latter were also obliged to register a profile with the PUE, thus allowing the posting of their employees’ e-Sick Notes to it. ZUS is providing necessary information to all interested parties. ZUS also declares assistance in explaining the new regulations to employees.