Healthcare in Greece
Navigating a foreign healthcare system can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be in Greece. Greek doctors are excellent and many have studied abroad. Usually it is not a problem to fnd a doctor who speaks English and often additional languages as well. Most doctors list their credentials, and any time you see a credential from the US or the UK, you can be confdent that the doctor can communicate in English. Otherwise just ask, before booking your appointment.
Pharmacists in Greece are also highly qualifed, and for minor issues they can be very helpful, especially since many common drugs do not require prescription in Greece. If you are already on prescribed medication when you arrive, check with the pharmacy if the drug is over the counter before you look for a doctor to renew the prescription. Your local pharmacist can often refer you to doctors or testing labs in your neighborhood as well
Diagnostic labs in Greece are plentiful, and when a doctor wants blood or other tests like MRIs or ultrasounds, you will be expected to book an appointment at a testing lab of your choice and go there to have the tests done. If you have private health insurance, your insurance will tell you which diagnostic lab to use. Unlike in most other countries, you will also be expected to pick up the results, often available the same day, or have them emailed to you and bring them back to your doctor for assessment.
The healthcare system in Greece is a mix of public and private. Most expats use the private network of healthcare providers. If you have private insurance, your insurance company will refer you to the hospitals, specialists and diagnostic labs in its network. Since healthcare in Greece is reasonably priced, it is not uncommon for people to go out of network, if they get a personal referral to a trusted doctor. You can also access the public network of doctors and book an appointment online. Payment will depend on your insurance status
Emergency and Urgent Care
For a dire emergency dial 166 for an ambulance, or the European emergency number 112. For urgent care, contact your insurance company for referral to the emergency or outpatient unit at a hospital in the network.