Greece is known for its ancient history and beautiful landscapes, but how does its healthcare system compare to other countries? This article will cover the standard of healthcare in Greece, how healthcare is paid for, services provided by hospitals, follow-up care after hospital treatment, and the rules for medical treatment of foreign visitors.
Standard of Healthcare
The standard of healthcare in Greece is generally considered to be good. The country has both public and private healthcare systems, with the public system being funded by the government and the private system being funded by private insurance and out-of-pocket payments.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Greece has a relatively high number of doctors and nurses per capita, with a well-developed network of primary care facilities. However, the country has been facing budget constraints in recent years, leading to cuts in public spending on healthcare and longer waiting times for non-emergency services.
Payment for Healthcare
Healthcare in Greece is primarily funded through social insurance contributions, which are deducted from salaries and other income. Those who are not eligible for social insurance, such as the self-employed, must pay into a separate fund. The unemployed and low-income individuals can receive free healthcare through a government-funded scheme.
Private health insurance is not necessary but can provide additional coverage and shorter wait times for certain services. Many employers also offer private health insurance as a benefit to their employees.
Services Provided by Hospitals
Hospitals in Greece provide a range of services, including emergency care, surgery, diagnostic tests, and rehabilitation. Most hospitals have both public and private wings, with the private wings offering more luxurious amenities and shorter wait times for services.
Patients’ families are not generally expected to provide care in hospitals, as this is the responsibility of the hospital staff. However, visitors may be limited during certain times to ensure that patients receive adequate rest and care.
Follow-up care after hospital treatment in Greece varies depending on the condition and the hospital. Patients may be referred to a specialist for further treatment or receive medication and instructions for self-care at home. In some cases, home visits may be arranged for patients who are unable to travel to a healthcare facility.
Medical Treatment for Foreign Visitors
Foreign visitors to Greece are entitled to emergency medical treatment regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Non-emergency treatment is not covered, so it is recommended that travelers obtain comprehensive travel insurance before their trip.
EU citizens can receive non-emergency treatment in Greece with their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles them to the same healthcare as Greek citizens. Non-EU citizens may need to pay for their medical treatment out-of-pocket or through private insurance.
Overall, the standard of healthcare in Greece is considered to be good, with a well-developed network of primary care facilities and a range of services provided by hospitals. Healthcare in Greece is primarily funded through social insurance contributions, with private insurance providing additional coverage and shorter wait times for certain services. Patients’ families are not generally expected to provide care in hospitals, and follow-up care after hospital treatment varies depending on the condition and hospital. Foreign visitors to Greece are entitled to emergency medical treatment, and EU citizens can receive non-emergency treatment with their EHIC.