The Greek national health system provides healthcare services through a network of ESY-public/state providers (PEDY Health Centres, ESY Hospitals) and EOPYY (The National Organization for the Provision of Health Services) -contracted private healthcare providers (doctors, clinics, diagnostic laboratories, Chronic Dialysis Units & Artificial Kidney Units) for primary, hospital and ambulatory care.
You can obtain medically necessary treatment by presenting the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), when you are temporarily staying in Greece. Medically necessary treatment refers to treatment that cannot wait for your return home. You may need such treatment in case of acute illness or accident. You can also receive treatment related to pregnancy and childbirth or to a chronic illness. The need for treatment must emerge during the course of your stay. If your illness requires regular treatment while you are temporarily staying abroad, agree with the treatment provider beforehand on the arrangement of treatment. Treatments that need to be arranged in advance include, for example, dialysis, oxygen therapy, specialised care of asthma and chemotherapy as well as echocardiography in chronic autoimmune diseases.
You will receive treatment on the same terms and at the same price as the locals. It is advisable to carry copies of your European Health Insurance Card with you, along with the card itself. If you didn’t have your EHIC with you or it was not accepted, and you were required to pay all the costs of treatment yourself, you might be able to apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively.
Access to primary, hospital and ambulatory healthcare for EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) holders is ensured by presenting the valid EHIC and proof of identification (passport or ID) in the network of healthcare providers.
In Greece, primary healthcare is provided by different types of service providers. Healthcare within the public system is provided free of charge at PEDY-national primary care networks on community level or EOPYY-contracted physicians, laboratories etc. ESY-hospitals may also provide specialized ambulatory care at their outpatient departments. Hospital treatment for European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holders is provided in ESY-state hospitals free of charge and EOPYY-contracted private clinics, where you are required to pay a co-payment.
At a certified private doctor or a clinic that has not been contracted by EOPYY, you are liable for all costs by yourself.
The National Contact Point of Greece provides useful healthcare information for visitors on their website.
Patients can directly access ambulatory care by making an appointment with a physician in PEDY urban facilities, rural health centres or hospital outpatient departments. The physician may prescribe necessary medications or tests or refer the patient to a specialist. Patients may choose to consult EOPYY-contracted specialists or a specialist at an ESY-hospital or EOPYY-contracted hospital for care.
Ambulatory care in rural and semi-urban areas is mostly delivered by a network of PEDY-health centres staffed with general practitioners and specialists. In addition, rural surgeries and local health units (TOMY) that are administratively linked to health centres are staffed with publicly employed doctors.
EOPYY also contracts private practices, laboratories and diagnostic centres and other health professionals to provide healthcare services to those insured. Every doctor contracted with EOPYY has a limit of 200 visits per month and there is also a monthly ceiling on the value of pharmaceuticals he may prescribe. The latter varies between doctors. This means that the EHIC holders who are in need of a doctor’s visit or a prescription, and choose to consult an EOPYY-contracted doctor must either find a physician who has not reached this ceiling or they will have to pay privately.
Usually you will not have to pay when you consult an EOPYY-contracted physician using your EHIC card. However, you may have to pay in some cases, for instance for medical procedures with statutory co-payment or for health services that are not included in the statutory health benefits package or for choosing to visit the doctor on your own initiative outside the opening hours of the doctor’s office and you have agreed to a private visit.
For EOPYY-contracted health professionals, EHIC holders may use the HealthAtlas search machine (available in Greek and English) or the EOPYY-search machine (available in Greek). To find an EOPYY-contracted physician and ensure availability, you may use the EOPYY-eFindDoctor tool (available in Greek).
Necessary dental treatment is mainly free of charge only at PEDY or ESY units where available. Dentists working in public hospitals provide mainly secondary dental treatment for patients with medically complex conditions. Dentists working in PEDY-health centres provide dental treatment for children up to 18 years of age, and emergency treatment for all ages. There are no EOPYY-contracted dentists, so if you choose a private dentist you will have to pay privately for your dental care.
If your medical condition requires medication, your physician can provide you with the necessary e-prescription. You can purchase your medication at any pharmacy as long as you carry your EHIC and the prescription is stamped and signed accordingly.
E-prescriptions must be dispensed within the time limitation indicated on the upper right part of the prescription (usually within 5 days), otherwise they will be automatically cancelled. In most cases, there is a 25 % co-payment on the cost of the prescribed medication.
The Greek national law prescribes that high cost medication for chronic diseases are provided free of charge at EOPYY-Pharmacies. You can find a list of medication from EOPYY-pharmacies website in Greek.
E-prescription from an ESY-hospital specialist doctor is needed in order for the EOPYY-Pharmacy to provide you with the medication needed and for some medication prior EOPYY-authorization may be required. Relevant information and guidance is provided by the physicians that prescribe accordingly. You can also address related questions to EOPYY-Division of Pharmaceuticals at the email: email@example.com.
In emergencies, you can go directly to a public hospital on-call duty or an EOPYY-contracted hospital.
Usually, a doctor at the emergency department of the hospital will provide a referral for hospital treatment.
Present your EHIC and your ID or passport upon arrival on admissions.
Hospital treatment is free in ESY-hospitals. If you choose to be treated in an EOPYY-contracted private clinic, then you will be expected to pay co-payment for part of the hospitalization cost (10-30%) and other potential additional charges.
If you choose to receive hospital treatment in a private clinic without an EOPYY-contract, you will not be covered with your EHIC and you will have to pay privately for all costs.
When an emergency ambulance transport is required, you can dial 112 (EU-Helpline) or 166 (National Centre for Emergency Care – EKAV) to be transported to a public hospital on-call duty. Emergency ambulance transportation is provided free of charge by EKAV. In case of ambulance transportation provided by private clinics, you will be required to pay privately.
Transportation by air ambulance, which is the responsibility of EKAV, is free of charge in most cases, such as urgent transportation from an island to the mainland due to a life threatening health condition.
However, if your illness requires you to use special transport when returning to Finland, you will be liable for the travel costs in their entirety. You are recommended to take out a travel insurance that covers these costs.
Read more about suddenly falling ill in Europe.
Read more about reimbursement of costs of treatment abroad.
If you wish to travel to Greece for the purpose of using healthcare services you can find general information on seeking treatment abroad on our site. For more detailed information, you should get in contact with the Greek National Contact Point.
You can use a search tool (in Greek) to find EOPYY-contracted private hospitals and other healthcare providers.
Quality and safety of treatment
In the event of treatment injuries, the legislation and patient insurance of the country providing the treatment is always applied. In case you are unhappy with the treatment you received, you should primarily try to sort the matter out with the treatment provider. The national contact point can help you with finding the right authority if you wish to make a complaint.