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, contact the health care provider abroad in advance and agree on arranging the 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.
With European Health Insurance Card, 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.
If you have a European Health Insurance Card, you can access primary healthcare, hospital and outpatient care when you show your valid health insurance card and your identity document (passport or identity card) to the health care provider.
If you have problems or questions about European Health Insurance Card or its use in Greece, you can contact directly the National Organisation for the Provision of Health Services (EOPYY) by sending an email to ehic(at)eopyy.gov.gr or calling +30 210 8110916 919.
In Greece, primary healthcare is provided by different types of service providers. With the European Health Insurance Card, you can get public healthcare free of charge at PEDY health centres and ESY public hospitals. You may be expected to pay a co-payment when accessing health care providers with an EOPYY contract, such as doctors or laboratories. ESY hospitals can also offer specialised medical care services at their outpatient clinics. You can get hospital treatment with a European Health Insurance Card in ESY hospitals and private EOPYY contract clinics. In private EOPYY contracted clinics, you pay a deductible for the treatment.
If you use a private doctor or a clinic that does not have an EOPYY contract, you pay the expenses entirely yourself.
You get direct access to an outpatient healthcare reception when you book a doctor’s appointment at a PEDY health centre, a rural health centre or a hospital outpatient clinic. The doctor can write you an electronic prescription for the necessary medicines or examinations or a referral to a specialist. To be treated, you can choose whether to go to a specialist doctor who has signed an EOPYY contract, a specialist doctor at an ESY hospital or a hospital that has signed an EOPYY contract.
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 makes contracts with private practices, laboratories and diagnostic centres and other health care professionals. 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. If you have a European Health Insurance Card and decide to use a doctor who has signed an EOPYY contract, make sure that the doctor has not reached his/her monthly limits. Another option is to pay for the visit yourself.
If you use a European Health Insurance Card, you usually do not have to pay for a visit to an EOPYY doctor. In certain cases, payment is required. For example, medical procedures with a statutory deductible as well as health services that are not included in the statutory range of health care benefits are subject to a fee. The payment is also required for a visit if you want to visit the doctor’s office on your own initiative outside of opening hours and you have agreed to a private visit.
You can search for health care professionals who have signed an EOPYY contract with the HealthAtlas search engine or the EOPYY search engine (in Greek). You can use the EOPYY-eFindDoctor-tool (in Greek) to search for and confirm availability of doctors who have signed the EOPYY contract.
You can get essential dental care free of charge mainly only in PEDY and ESY units, if it is 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 Greek 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.
In order for the EOPYY pharmacy to be able to provide medicines free of charge for your chronic illness, you need an electronic prescription from a specialist at the ESY hospital. For some medicines, you need EOPYY prior authorisation. 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: d6(at)eopyy.gov.gr.
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 want to travel to Greece to use healthcare services there, you should read our website for general information about seeking treatment abroad on our site. For more detailed information, you should get in contact with the Greek National Contact Point.
The National Contact Point of Greece provides useful healthcare information in English for visitors on- their website.
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.
The Greek national health system provides primary health care as well as inpatient and outpatient care. Public actors providing treatment are PEDY health centres and ESY hospitals. The national health system also includes providers of private health care (doctors, clinics, laboratories, dialysis and kidney units) who have signed the EOPYY contract.