Polish economy & healthcare system: Ukraine war consequences

Ukraine war : Economics and socials consequences for Poland





Added to the humanitarian crisis due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war has an impact on the global economy of the world, it is hurting the entire growth and rising prices, the inflation increased as well.

We attempt the impact of this war on three big points. The first one is about the higher prices for food and energy (impact on inflation). The second point is about the neighbouring economy, we will develop more about this channel.

The consequences are disrupted trade and supply chains. The third point is about the decrease of business confidence, in consequence, we can schedule a higher uncertainty from the investor, in these fragile business conditions, prices will increase. Moreover, Russia and Ukraine are major commodities producers, in terms of oil and natural gas.

It is the same about food: Ukraine and Russia represent 30% of global exports of wheat. (How War in Ukraine Is Reverberating Across World’s Regions, March 2022).

Consequences of the war on inflation. (How War in Ukraine Is Reverberating Across World’s Regions March 2022).
Figure 5: Consequences of the war on inflation. (How War in Ukraine Is Reverberating Across World’s Regions March 2022).

The war in Ukraine had a real impact on the Polish economy, these impacts are mainly the reduction of the growth dynamics of GDP and the increase of the prices with less availability of raw materials.

According to experts from BNP Paribas, the decline of GDP’s dynamic growth could reach 3.5%. Moreover, the increase in the prices of the raw materials, with a weaker exchange rate plus the disturbances occurring in the supply chains make provokes higher inflation.

The slowdown of activities in the Euro-Zone makes the economic consequences of the war uncertain, and the economic growth in Poland risk to be lower.

Currently, the prices of raw materials are still growing, the biggest increase is visible at petrol stations because of the crude oil prices.

If these high prices will stay over for a longer time, then the capacity of buying power will abide and that will cause a reduction in economic growth during this year. The decrease in the exports from Ukraine and Russia shouldn’t impact directly the Polish economy. Indeed, the statistics from last year show that the exportation is only about 2 or 3% of the produce.

Moreover, the fact that Poland didn’t accept to export the of Russian gas with Russian currency (ruble) will certainly impact the Polish economy and the capacity of buying power for the Polish people.



Let’s talk about the challenge brought to the Polish healthcare system. Poland is experiencing the biggest migration episode of this century.

The consequence of the recent war in Ukraine is the obligation of millions of Ukrainians to leave the country. They become refugees, trying to find a place in nearby European countries, mainly Ukraine’s neighbours in the west and the South. So, Poland naturally became the first place to go.

We counted 1.1 million refugees in the first two weeks after the beginning of military operations entering Poland. The total number of these refugees in the first two weeks was 1.7 million, we can see that mostly went to Poland.

There is already a real Ukrainian population living in Poland (about 1.3 million in 2021), that’s why a lot of the refugees hope to stay in Poland, even if Poland is only the way to go to the West of Europe for some of them. (War in Ukraine and the challenges it brings to the Polish healthcare system, March 2022).

Location of refugees. (War in Ukraine and the challenges it brings to the Polish healthcare system, Mars 2022).

Figure 6: Location of refugees. (War in Ukraine and the challenges it brings to the Polish healthcare system, Mars 2022).

The help from Poland to Ukraine refugees is really important. The help comes from the government, from associations but also directly from Polish habitants showing incredible generosity.

Ukraine refugees need help in many ways: nourishment, lodging, work, money, education but also militarily to help Ukrainians stay in the fight.

For survival reasons, the first need for refugees is healthcare. This migration constitutes a big influx of people in a short time. If we add these conditions with the other problems already present in Poland, it becomes a big challenge.

Indeed, before this influx of people, Poland was already under pressure because of the Covid19 pandemic. This situation is putting a strain on the Polish healthcare system.

First, there is the difficulty to find places to live for the refugees, but also finding enough basic livelihood for everybody. The other point is about providing correct access to medical services. (Cash program for basic needs for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Mars 2022).

One of the barriers is the language, it is difficult for the medical personnel to communicate with the Ukrainians, who don’t know the Polish language. A lot of refugees suffered from deprived water, deprived food and really low temperatures before they passed the borders.

They need quick assistance, and the Polish healthcare system needs to deal with the underlying diseases, special medical assistance (for pregnant women for example) and also take care of the mental health of the refugees. Some of them need to be followed psychologically.

The mental health specialist needs particularly to work on children who suffer from the traumatic disorder.

The Polish Society of Family Medicine has prepared many solutions “on the spot” for patients and also for doctors, with on-call translators as well as interview and physical examination questionnaires in different languages.

On February 26th, 2022, Poland declared that “each person from Ukraine who crossed the Polish border since the onset of the war would have access to free medical services under the same conditions as Polish citizens”.

This decision enabled Ukrainian refugees to be reimbursed for hospitals and primary care costs. Poland didn’t talk about drug reimbursement. Another problem is about Covid 19.

Indeed, it is obvious that the refugees arriving at the borders don’t need to have a Covid 19 test and to undergo quarantine to pass. Moreover, the vaccination coverage for the Ukrainian population is lower compared to the Polish population (34.5% against 59%), which may increase the number of Covid cases in future. (War in Ukraine and the challenges it brings to the Polish healthcare system, March 2022).

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The bringing of help is enormous, but the principal question is how long will it continue?

The Polish healthcare system urgently needs to establish systemic solutions. On the other hand, it will be useful for Poland to quickly recognize the qualifications of Ukrainian healthcare professionals, who would be able to enter the labour market and help the Polish healthcare system deal with the situation.



The government has an important role in bringing enough measures to help Ukrainians. Poland carries an open-door policy; it helps Ukrainian refugees to build new lives.

That’s why on 12 March 2022, the Polish parliament voted a law to assure assistance for Ukrainian nationals in connection with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

This new law was adopted by 439 deputies out of 460 votes. And it was applied retroactively from the 24 of February. The law concerned Ukrainians who left Ukraine because of the Russian aggression, came immediately to Poland and declared their intention to stay in Poland. They will have the right to stay (legally) in the country for 18 months.

Polish officials are struggling to register and help all the people arriving in the country, because of the number of refugees arriving in a short time.

The procedure to have the right to stay is to ask for a PESEL number ((the abbreviation for the Polish national identity number), which has been set up since the 16 of march. Polish authorities set up one of the biggest registration centres at the National Stadium in Warsaw, so the refugees can apply for their PESEL there.

A day before the centre opened, many long lines had already formed in front of the Stadium. Hot tea was proposed for the people waiting at the gate to the stadium.

The Polish administration resists huge challenges there are many millions of Ukrainian refugees in Poland and within the first two days of the registration drive, already 123 000 of them received their PESEL numbers. After the first two days, another registration was set up.

In this way, the registration operation speeded up. Usually, these kinds of registrations are done in municipal offices, but they were already overwhelmed. Near the Ukrainian border, the Polish city of Przemys has a city office working at full speed, there are only seven officers with four fingerprint machines so there are long waiting times here.

For people, refugees of the war who flee without any proof of identity registration are also possible, but it takes longer to receive their ID number. (Poland’s open-door policy helps Ukrainian refugees build new lives, March 2022).

The right of residence includes other rights like services and benefits. Moreover, this law applies to the spouses of the Ukrainian refugees, even if this person has not the Ukrainian nationality.

Nonetheless, this person must come to Poland directly from Ukraine, as a consequence of the war. (Poland: Parliament adopts law on assistance to Ukrainian refugees, March 2022).

By this law, all the companies and individual citizens bringing help to Ukrainian refugees (lodging, or food) will receive financial assistance for a maximum of 60 days, and this financial assistance is about 1200 PLN per month, which is approximately 250 euros per month.

To receive this money, an agreement must be accorded by the commune.

Poland also set up solutions for Ukrainians to find a job to support themselves and their family. With this law, Poland includes full access to the Polish labour market; it means that the refugees don’t need to have a work permit.

Moreover, the refugees will receive a one-off cash allowance for necessities, this allowance is about 300 PLN per person, approximately 63 euros. (Poland: Parliament adopts law on assistance to Ukrainian refugees, March 2022).

The Polish government didn’t forget about education. As for the healthcare system, all the children from Ukraine will be able to go to Polish schools, on the same condition as Polish nationals.

The children will have to adapt to their classmates, because of the different languages and cultures. A difficult step after the terrible experiences of fleeing the war.

Ukrainian students, in higher education, will have the chance to pursue their studies at Polish universities. Many of the UK’s chambers of commerce also wanted to help so they are offering English language lessons online.

Some measures also concerned many social benefits. This benefit cares about children, it is very important because most of the refugees are women with children. The social help is really good: 500 PLN per child and month (which is approximately 106 euros), plus 300 PLN per child per school supplies (which is approximately 63 euros).

Moreover, there is family care support for every second child and other children aged between 12 and 36 months, the help is a maximum of 12 000 PLN per child (which is approximately 2 553 euros). They will also help with nursery schools and social assistance.

In addition to these governmental measures and laws, the support also comes directly from Polish citizens or Polish businesses. Many testimonials in the media show incredible solidarity. Some restaurants are daily working to provide help and give some meals.

For example, the Vegan Ramen AF company set up a portable kitchen to help provide free food for up to 8 000 people a day at the border.

Swiss investors also participate with donations of more than 10 000 euros for food shopping, some citizens make donations from their own money and there is also support from charity organizations that are doing their maximum to help everyone who needs it. (How Poland’s business community is helping Ukrainians, March 2022).

There is also a good effort from the transportation company. Some of them offer free transportation and drivers. Citizens and companies know that refugees need different support for their stay in Poland.

And it starts with the transportation to be able to arrive at the border and cross it. For example, the National railway company PKP Intercity is offering free travel for refugees.

We can give another example with the firm Panek which has donated 1 000 rental cars to transport people away from the border. With the same goal, the transport firm FlixBus has enabled refugees to travel on free buses from the border.

The Flixbus went further in this solidarity, it also joined the UA Talents. It is a job platform launched by two Berlin-based Ukrainian entrepreneurs. It enables refugees to find a job.

On the backway, buses are also taking refugees and bringing medicine.

The PCPM, with other humanitarian organizations, continues to enable easy bus transportation from Eastern Ukraine. They took care of the vulnerable Ukrainians who have no host families in Western Ukraine. Unfortunately, buses are not able to travel through Kyiv by the major roads in the west of Ukraine, because it is in the zone of active fighting.

The buses going from Poland to central and eastern Ukraine bring humanitarian aid. In addition to this measure, the Polish Emergency Medical Team (EMT) is also helping.

The EMT participated in the evacuation of up to 200 pediatric cancer patients. They are evacuating by ambulance in Western Ukraine. (Cash program for basic needs for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Mars 2022).

Poland’s Central Statistics Office published a study about the labour market in Poland, it shows firms need 93 000 industrial workers, 85 000 IT specialists, 61 000 operators and assemblers of machines and devices, and a further 52 000 service sector employees.

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All this job can be done by the refugees. We talk about the big firms, but the smaller ones are also providing help.

For example, the little recruitment agency Herlmpact in Warsaw is helping women arriving at the border to create new curriculum vitae, to translate documents into Polish or English, and to apply for jobs. (How Poland’s business community is helping Ukrainians, Jo Harper Business reporter, March 2022).

Concerning accommodation, the solidarity of citizens and firms brings a lot of help to find urgently how to lodge the refugees. One day before Russia’s invasion a polish foundation launched TechForUkraine. It is a platform that connects IT companies with non-governmental organizations.

It is working on an Airbnb-style web platform, the goal is to help Ukrainians to find lodging. This platform was co-created by BCG, ID Advisory, Clevsoft and several dozen volunteers, and within two weeks, 450 firms signed up.

Everybody is helping: Lux Med (Poland’s largest private healthcare company) is offering free medical assistance, in a really short time. Meanwhile the mobile phone operators there (like Play, Orange, Plus and T-Mobile) are considerably reducing the costs of telephone calls to the main Ukrainian operators (which are Kyivstar, Vodafone and Lifecell.)

It is also important to help Ukrainians with their finances: Poland’s banks have already removed fees for money transfers to Ukraine and commissions for cash deposits and ATM withdrawals. (How Poland’s business community is helping Ukrainians, March 2022).

Another organization intervened with rapidity from the beginning of the invasion: the PCPM is The Polish Center for International Aid. The PCPM helped an initial group of 2,000 Ukrainian refugee families in Poland and helped in the evacuation of more than 3000 Ukrainians from the town of Kharkiv.

The program initially intervened in Lublin and Rzeszów. The PCPM supplies Ukraine with humanitarian aid and medicines with humanitarian aid in the form of cash benefits.

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They bring a big help in a short time, with the support from the NRC (the Norwegian Refugee Council) and CARE USA. It is important to know that the PCPM Foundation had a similar aid program for Syrian refugees in Lebanon for 10 years. The cash benefits supplied by the PCPM can be used to buy food and cover basic needs.

It is good to know that this program is not financed by the Polish budget or by polish taxpayers. It is financed by international donors.

The cash assistance provided by the PCPM is supposed to last three months. It is immediate assistance waiting for the enrollment of Ukrainian families in the Government of Poland’s social security system.

PCPM plans to employ Ukrainian refugees, even Ukrainian students to assist local authorities in a speedy enrollment of social services.

The goal is also to accelerate the integration of children in schools and to bring psychological support. Thanks to the support from CARE USA, the program of PCPM will extend its action to Lublin.

Warsaw announced that it may take up to 6 months to get the PESEL social security number for all refugees arriving in the city. That’s why they need more employees, to accelerate the registration, so they will employ Ukrainian people.

The aim of the Polish government is a shelter for each refugee. Despite the migration of more than 2 million refugees, Poland didn’t have to create refugee camps. In fact, all Ukrainians found lodges in Polish private homes or temporary places of stay.

These solutions are mainly financed by the governments or by charities. (Cash program for basic needs for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, March 2022).

Thanks to PCPM and with the help of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), a transit centre was created next to the train station of Warszawa Wschodnia, which is located in Warsaw’s East.

This transit centre can receive 5 000 refugees per day, and it can provide services such as hot meals, psychological assistance, travel planning, and offers child spaces and medical assistance. The beginning of construction of this transit centre started on the 21 of March.

One more time, the rapidity of Polish measures is remarkable. In addition to this centre, the PCPM created an educational and community centre. It was built in the old headquarters of one of the commercial banks in Warsaw.

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The activities proposed there are speech therapy, psychosocial assistance, sensory integration, catch-up classes, day school and Polish language classes.

The next project is to add activities for Ukrainian refugee women, mainly Polish language classes and assistance in finding employment. The centre is entirely operational thanks to Ukrainian refugee teachers and specialists. (Cash program for basic needs for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Mars 2022).


To sum up, the whole history between Poland and Ukraine is useful to understand the current situation. Moreover, the historical past of Ukraine and its relation with other world countries, particularly with Russia, has a key role.

Since Ukraine’s invasion, Poland has suffered a lot from the consequences.

The government had to deal with the different problems from the war: inflation, the overloaded healthcare system, and migrant support, … all these problems needed to be fixed quickly and correctly, Ukraine’s lives are at stake.

There is a lot of information not mentioned in this work. Indeed, day after day, there are new figures and statistics. The more time passes, the more testimonials there are. The limitation of this thesis is due to the recentness of the topic.

All of Poland’s (government or civil) initiatives aren’t cited and explained in this work. It could be completed by the end of Ukraine’s invasion.




Pour citer ce mémoire (mémoire de master, thèse, PFE,...) :
La première page du mémoire (avec le fichier pdf) - Thème :
The impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war on Poland
Auteur·trice·s :
FARAG Noureldin
FARAG Noureldin
Université :
Université Grenoble (UGA) - Grenoble IAE – Gaduate school of management
Année de soutenance :
Mobility Study dissertation - Licence – mobilité études - Program Management - 2021 – 2024
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