Unplanned healthcare in Greece

If you are insured in one EU member state, you have the right to access unplanned healthcare in Greece through:

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) route.

The EHIC is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare in case of emergency, during a temporary stay in Greece, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some cases) as people insured in Greece.

The EHIC may also cover the treatment of pre-existing chronic medical conditions and routine maternity care, provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth or seek treatment.

The Greek national health system provides healthcare services through a network of public/state providers as well as contracted private providers.

Access to primary, hospital and ambulatory healthcare for EHIC/PRC holders is ensured by presenting the EHIC/PRC and proof of identification (passport or ID) in the network of healthcare providers.

Primary healthcare concerns doctor visits and diagnostic tests and is provided by:

  • EOPYY-contracted private doctors
  • EOPYY-contracted private diagnostic centers
  • Laboratories of EOPYY-contracted private clinics
  • PEDY Units (National Primary Healthcare Network)
  • Hospital outpatient units of the National Health System (ESY)
  • Rural and regional medical units of the National Health System (ESY)
  • Emergency departments of state hospitals
  • EOPYY-contracted Chronic Dialysis Units and Artificial Kidney Units
  • Certified private doctors, without a contract with EOPYY, ONLY for providing e-prescription for medication or electronic referral for diagnostic tests. Visits to certified doctors are paid privately and are not covered by the EHIC.

Hospital healthcare for EHIC holders is provided by:

  • EOPYY-contracted private clinics
  • State/public hospitals of the National Health System (ESY)

When an emergency ambulance transport is required, you can dial 112 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 (more than 2.000 islands in Greece, more than 200 are inhabited) to the mainland due to a life threatening health condition.

When consulting a PEDY Unit doctor you will receive treatment free of charge by presenting your EHIC and ID or passport. If you choose to consult an EOPYY-contracted private doctor, you may have to pay if he has exceeded his monthly free ceiling visits (200 EOPYY-patients per month).

If you are not an EHIC or PRC holder, you must pay for your visit and get a receipt with the medical diagnosis stamped by the doctor. You can submit this to claim reimbursement, to the competent health insurer in your home country.

Necessary dental treatment is mainly free of charge ONLY at PEDY or ESY units where available. There are no EOPYY contracted dentists, so if you choose a private dentist you will have to pay privately for your dental care.

If diagnostic tests are required, your treating doctor will issue an e-prescription, appropriately stamped and signed. Diagnostic tests are provided by:

  • EOPYY-contracted private diagnostic laboratories (with a 15 % patient co-payment)
  • Laboratories of EOPYY-contracted private clinics (with a 15 % patient co-payment)
  • PEDY Units (National Primary Healthcare Network) (free of charge)
  • Hospital outpatient units of the National Health System (free of charge)
  • Rural and regional medical units of the National Health System (free of charge)

Diagnostic tests at purely private or non-contracted with EOPYY laboratories are not covered by the EHIC /PRC and you will have to pay privately for all costs.

  • In emergencies, you can go directly to a public hospital on-call duty.
  • You can call emergency line 112 or 166 in order to request information on which hospitals are on-call duty and also request emergency ambulance transport.
  • Usually, a doctor will provide a referral for hospital treatment.
  • Present your EHIC and your ID or passport upon arrival on admissions.
  • Hospital treatment is free in public/state hospitals. If you choose to be treated in an EOPYY-contracted private clinic, then you will be required to pay co-payment for part of the hospitalization cost (30 % for DRG applied or 10% for daily hospitalization), all doctor’s and anesthesiologist fees, choice of room upgrades and other potential additional charges per case depending on the type of treatment you receive.
IMPORTANT! 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.

If your medical condition requires medication, then your treating doctor 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 but for some groups of patients such as the chronically ill, medication is free of charge or a reduced co-payment is fixed.

For each dispensed e-prescription there is a 1,00 € fee (non-reimbursable).

For chronically ill patients who, during their temporary stay in Greece will need specialized care such as hemodialysis, oxygen therapy, chemotherapy, etc., it is absolutely necessary for them to contact in advance, the competent healthcare provider, prior to their arrival in Greece. There are issues of service availability, medical history and other possible formalities in order to ensure safe and timely treatment. We strongly advise patients to pre-arrange treatment before travelling.

If treatment is provided at PEDY units, public / state hospitals or EOPYY-contracted private providers, then there is no charge as long as you carry your EHIC and proof of identification (id or passport). If you opt for treatment at private healthcare providers, then you will have to pay privately.

The Greek national law prescribes that high cost medication for chronic diseases are provided free of charge at EOPYY-Pharmacies.

Information about the list of EOPYY-Pharmacies is available at:
www.eopyy.gov.gr/Pharmacy/Index.

Information about the medication provided by EOPYY-Pharmacies is available at:
www.eopyy.gov.gr/Medicine/Index.

You should know that an e-prescription from a public hospital specialized 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 treating doctors that prescribe accordingly.

As an EHIC holder, you are treated as an insured Greek national and are entitled to the health benefits prescribed by the Regulation of Health Benefits (EKPY) in other words what the national health benefits basket provides with the same conditions and financial obligations.

If you are not an EHIC or PRC holder at the moment of receiving healthcare treatment and you pay for all costs incurred, you are strongly advised to keep all medical documentation signed and stamped by the treating doctor.

Such documentation may include:

  • Doctor’s prescriptions for medication or medical tests, signed and stamped (the name of the patient, the date and the diagnosis should be noted on the prescription)
  • Healthcare provider’s itemized invoices for the treatment received
  • Doctor’s / hospital medical reports
  • Hospital documentation such as admissions / discharge notes
  • Pharmacy receipts, etc.

The above documentation may be required in order to submit them for reimbursement to the competent health insurer in your home country.

Important! Any healthcare treatment provided by purely private, non-contracted with EOPYY healthcare providers, is not reimbursable according to Greek national law. In other words, your EHIC does not cover any relevant costs. Make sure you enquire with your national health insurance fund or the national contact point for cross-border healthcare back home about the possibility to have such costs reimbursed under the Directive 2011/24/EU.

Healthcare Service Category Patients CO-Payment
Doctor’s visit EOPYY-contracted private doctors No co-payment for the first 200 consultations/month – Paid privately if the doctor has exceeded his monthly ceiling.
PEDY Units / Outpatient visits at public/state Hospitals (ESY) No co-payment
Private doctors without EOPYY-contract Paid privately
Diagnostic tests EOPYY-contracted private providers 15 %
PEDY Units / public hospitals diagnostic laboratories (ESY) No co-payment
Private diagnostic laboratories without contract Paid privately
Inpatient Hospital treatment EOPYY contracted private clinics 30 % of the DRG charged + all doctors’ fees + choice of room upgrades + other potential additional charges per case depending on the type of treatment received, are paid privately
Public/state hospitals of the National Health System (ESY) No co-payment
Private clinics without EOPYY-contract Paid privately
Prescribed medication Any pharmacy 25 % (for some groups such as the chronically ill, medication is free of charge or the co-payment may be reduced) For each dispensed e-prescription there is a 1,00 € non- refundable fee)
High cost medication EOPYY- Pharmacies ONLY No co-payment

Trouble or questions for EHIC holders?
Send an e-mail at: d12@eopyy.gov.gr or ehic@eopyy.gov.gr or call at: + 30 210 8110916-919.

Searching for a public/state healthcare provider in Greece?
You can visit: https://healthatlas.gov.gr/#!/

Searching for a contracted healthcare provider in Greece?
You can visit: http://www.eopyy.gov.gr/MedSupplier

Questions for the Greek national contact point for cross-border healthcare?
Send an email at: ncp_gr@eopyy.gov.gr or call at: +30 210 8110935-6

The EU Directive 2011/24/EU route on cross-border healthcare.

This is a funding arrangement between you and your national health insurance fund. Using this route means you will have to pay the costs of your treatment abroad upfront and then claim the reimbursement of costs from the national health insurance fund when you return. If you are entitled to that healthcare at home, then you will be reimbursed by your home country. The reimbursement will be up to the cost of that treatment at home.

For some treatments you may need to get prior authorization so make sure you contact your health insurance fund or the national contact point for cross-border healthcare at home.