healthcare in greece

If you’re planning to stay in Greece for a certain period, you may wonder about healthcare in Greece for tourists. Rest assured that the standards of healthcare in the country are high enough. What’s more, you can benefit from the healthcare system in Greece as a foreigner as well.  

Let’s get to know more about healthcare in Greece for foreigners.

Emergency Services in Greece

It’s important to know the emergency number of the country when you’re abroad. So, before delving into the details of the healthcare system, note that you can call emergency services freely in Greece. You can call either 112 or 166 in case of an emergency. However, you may not always find English-speaking staff. So, you can call 112 to talk to an English operator. Also, the number of ambulances and the chance to get a fast one are higher in bigger cities.

Types of Healthcare in Greece

There are public and private healthcare systems in Greece, and you can have access to both as a foreigner. Let’s begin with the public one.

Public Health in Greece

Public health in Greece is supervised by ESY which is The Greek Healthcare System. You may be an EU citizen, a foreigner, or an unemployed person. Regardless, public healthcare is provided for you as well as it’s for citizens. Also, ESY provides free or low-cost healthcare in Greece. Expats who work, have a social security number, and pay contributions can benefit from free healthcare. Public healthcare is either free or at a low cost in Greece. Also, you can directly visit a specialist without having a referral from your GP.

In health centers located in big cities and sometimes in big hospitals, you can find some English-speaking staff. However, your chances of finding such staff are lower if you’re in a small town, for instance.

If you’re an EU citizen, you can use your EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) to benefit from healthcare services. Also, EHIC cardholders can see a doctor in a PEDY unit, or have some dental treatments done. PEDY stands for National Primary Healthcare Network in Greece. Note that private healthcare costs are not covered by EHIC though. 

If you’re a foreigner, you can also benefit from international health insurance in Greece, and wait for less. 

Private Healthcare in Greece

Compared to public healthcare, private hospitals and facilities in Greece provide more English-speaking medical staff. What’s more, the equipment in such facilities is newer compared to public hospitals. Also, you’ll find that some private Greek hospitals have signed partnerships with some countries and their hospitals. 

One of the advantages of private healthcare over the public is that the waiting times are shorter. Also, private health insurance Greece covers many treatments/expenses that public healthcare doesn’t. All your expenses can also be covered by private health insurance. What’s more, it’s possible to extend the insurance that you already have. In this case, you can extend your original insurance (in another country) to your private insurance in Greece.

Private medical insurance Greece covers primary healthcare, and the following:

  • Dental treatment
  • Specialists’ fees, and
  • Elective cosmetic surgery.

Pharmacies and Medication 

You can easily find pharmacies in larger cities in Greece. The sign of pharmacies is a green cross. You can also find English-speaking pharmacists easily as well.

Before coming to Greece, it’s advisable to be vaccinated against measles due to the recent outbreak in 2019. 

If you have drugs you need to bring with you from your home country, don’t forget your doctor’s letter. The letter must include information about your condition and the medication. It needs to clarify the medication’s name as well. Another important point is to check the legitimacy of the medication in Greece. 

Mental Healthcare in Greece

You can benefit from mental healthcare in Greece with your Greece health insurance and international health insurance as well. In the second case, you’ll get access to extensive services. Also, new services have been established in Greece. So, you have various options of facilities and services to choose from.


Can Greece Golden Visa holders have access to Greek healthcare?

Greece Golden Visa doesn’t provide access to healthcare directly. You need to have private foreign health insurance in Greece to cover your healthcare. This applies to foreigners who don’t plan to live in the country full-time. 

What is Greece’s healthcare ranking?

According to CEOWORLD magazine Health Care Index, Greece healthcare ranking is 26 out of a total of 89 countries.

Is healthcare free in Greece?

Greece offers both free and private healthcare services. If you’re a foreigner who doesn’t live in Greece full-time, you need private healthcare insurance. The average cost of private health insurance in Greece is €3500 a year. The cost of such packages may change depending on the company and the range of coverage.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here