Healthcare in Greece > 11 Important Tips about Healthcare for Expats and Global Nomads in Greece

11 Important Tips about Healthcare for Expats and Global Nomads in Greece

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on: Dec 20, 2020

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Summary: If you're moving to Greece, it's important to understand the health insurance requirements when seeking a short or long-term visa, the quality of healthcare outside of Athens including in Greek Islands, vaccines for Greece and more.

Healthcare in Greece - 11 Important Tips about Healthcare for Expats and Global Nomads in Greece

Information for expats and global nomads moving to or living in Greece about healthcare, emergency services, COVID-19 regulations, expat health insurance options and more.

  1. Cost of Healthcare in Greece
  2. Payment for Health Services
  3. Health Insurance Requirements for Short-Term Visas and Residency
  4. Health Insurance for Expats and Global Nomads in Greece
  5. Quality of Healthcare Facilities in Greece
  6. Healthcare Outside of Athens and on the Greek Islands
  7. You'll Need Someone to Accompany You During Your Stay at a Public Hospital
  8. COVID-19 Related Entry Requirements
  9. Emergency Telephone Numbers in Greece
  10. Prescription Medications in Greece
  11. Vaccines for Greece

1. Cost of Healthcare in Greece

The US Embassy in Greece stated, "medical fees can vary considerably in Greece. We recommend that clients inquire about fees in advance."

When we asked expats about the cost of medical care in Greece, "The cost is reasonable under the IHC, private care varies, but in general is cheaper than UK I believe," wrote one expat in Paros. Another expat said, "the costs of private medical care are quite reasonable." A mom who gave birth in Athens said, "[it was] very expensive (around 2000 euros for the cheapest room option - 6 mothers sharing a room, not including doctors fee)."

2. Payment for Health Services

"Patients should settle all bills in euros and request a formal receipt. Some hospitals do not accept credit cards and expect payment in cash," wrote the US Embassy. The State Department added, "Private hospitals usually require proof of adequate insurance or cash before admitting a patient. Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals. Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. You may be required to pay upfront and seek reimbursement from your insurance company."

3. Health Insurance Requirements for Short and Long-Term Visas

Proof of health insurance is required for both the short-term visa (under 90 days) and the long-term visa (typically the Type D Visa). Your health insurance is required to last the duration of your stay and cover the cost of medical repatriation and emergency medical care. Expat Exchange works closely with several of the most respected expat heath insurers and brokers. Click here for a list of our expat health insurance partners.

As part of your visa application process, you will need to complete the Ministry of Foreign Affair's:

Health Insurance Declaration Form

In that form, you are attesting to the fact that you have international medical insurance or travel health insurance (for short stays) that:

  • Medical or travel medical insurance that is valid for the Republic of Greece
  • Medical or travel medical insurance that is valid during the entire period that I will be in the Republic of Greece
  • The cover is at least EUR 30.000
  • Cover includes repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical care and/or emergency treatment in a hospital
  • Agreement that you will carry proof of this medical or travel medical insurance with you, which can be presented to border control officers whenever you enter the Republic of Greece.

4. Health Insurance for Expats and Global Nomads in Greece

Expats living in Greece interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Greece interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

5. Quality of Healthcare Facilities in Greece

"Public hospitals may operate with skeletal staff over weekends, and it may be difficult to locate a doctor or someone who speaks English. Private hospitals have an appearance more akin to the United States and are more expensive. Medical fees can vary considerably in Greece," explained the US Embassy.

6. Healthcare Outside of Athens and on the Greek Islands

"Available medical care on islands and outside of Athens and Thessaloniki may be more limited, with clinics only. Serious medical situations generally require travel to Athens or Thessaloniki for treatment. If doctors determine urgent care is needed, the hospital or clinic will help you arrange travel," wrote the US Embassy. An expat living on the island of Paros wrote, "Nearest proper hospitals are in Athens, a boat or plane ride away. The emergency service in the public health facility is very good, mainly due to a very conscientious doctor. Otherwise there are private clinics which cater for scans, x rays, blood tests etc."

7. You'll Need Someone to Accompany You During Your Stay at a Public Hospital

This may come as a surprise for some expats and global nomads, but if you stay at a public Greek hospital, you'll need bring someone with you to help you during your stay. "In Athens the care is different to UK, for instance there needs to be a carer for the patient, a relative or someone privately paid for when you are in the hospital," explained one expat. This is generally not the case at a private hospital. The US State Department added, "Public hospitals often employ minimal nursing staff overnight and on weekends in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child."

8. COVID-19 Related Entry Requirements

Is a negative COVID-19 test required for entry? Yes

Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes, but you also need a pre-travel negative test. Airport screening is additional.

The Greek government has setup a website with up-to-date information about Protocols for Arrivals in and Departures from Greece. Protocols involve:

  • Completing a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) the day before arriving in Greece (not earlier)
  • After submitting the PLF form, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. On your date of arrival, you'll receive the PLF Form and a unique QR Code (it will be attached to the e-mail) that will be required during travel.
  • Taking a PCR test within 72 hours of arriving in Greece (RT-PCR of oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab) at an approved laboratory such as:
    • National Reference laboratories
    • National Public Health Laboratories
    • Private laboratories which are accredited from the respective national accreditation authorities (not necessarily specifically for COVID-19)
    • NOTE: Children under 10 years of age are not subject to the Covid-19 testing requirement
  • If you test negative, you will need to obtain a certificate of negative RT-PCR test that is written in English bearing your name and passport/national ID number on the certificate.
  • Upon arrival, depending upon your QR code, you may be directed to a screening area where you will be tested again. Those results will be available within 24 hours. Ask the screener how to find out your test result.
  • Sometimes incoming foreign travelers are required to self-isolate. For example, in December 2020 through early January 2021, travelers were required to self-isolate for 3 days.

9 . Emergency Telephone Numbers in Greece

If you are in Greece and need to contact emergency services, please dial 112.

10. Prescription Medications

"If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Greek Embassy or consulate in the United States, the Customs office at Athens International Airport (+30 210-3542126) or the National Organization of Medicines (, www.eof.gr, +30-213-204-0000) to ensure the medication is legal in Greece. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription," wrote the US State Department.

When we asked if prescription drugs are readily available in Greece, an expat in Paros said, "Yes from the many chemists. I need several prescriptions but get them at 20% of cost under the healthcare programme."

11. Vaccines for Greece

Routine vaccines include:

  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine
  • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
  • Polio vaccine
  • Yearly Flu Shot

Additional vaccination recommendations:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles
  • Rabies

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Greece from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
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Healthcare in ParosHealthcare in Paros, Greece

An expat on Paros Island in Greece offers insight about the quality and availability of healthcare on an island in Greece. Expats should be aware that there are no true hospitals on Paros Island.

Healthcare in ParosHealthcare in Paros, Greece

An expat from the United Kingdom offers her insight into the health care system on the island of Paros in Greece. Information shared includes how it compares to the UK, pharmacies, cost and more.

Healthcare in ParosHealthcare in Paros, Greece

Yes in pharmacy, sometimes no prescription needed. You pay 25% of the cost if a member of EOPPY

expat healthcare surveyAnswer Questions about Healthcare in Greece

Help others moving to Greece by answering a set of questions about health insurance, public healthcare in Greece, prescription medicine, quality of medical care and emergency services.

Having-a-Baby-In-GreeceExpats Talk about What it's Like Having a Baby in Greece

Read recent baby reports submitted for Athens and Athens.

If you're an expat parent who had a baby abroad, write a report about your childbirth experiences to help other expecting expat parents.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for expat health insurance in Greece from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
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Updated On: Dec 20, 2020

First Published: Dec 20, 2020

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Greece from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

healthcare in ParosHealthcare in Paros, Greece

An expat on Paros Island in Greece offers insight about the quality and availability of healthcare on an island in Greece. Expats should be aware that there are no true hospitals on Paros Island. -

healthcare in ParosHealthcare in Paros, Greece

An expat from the United Kingdom offers her insight into the health care system on the island of Paros in Greece. Information shared includes how it compares to the UK, pharmacies, cost and more. -

healthcare in ParosHealthcare in Paros, Greece

Yes in pharmacy, sometimes no prescription needed. You pay 25% of the cost if a member of EOPPY -

healthcare surveyAnswer Questions about Healthcare in Greece

Help others moving to Greece by answering a set of questions about health insurance, public healthcare in Greece, prescription medicine, quality of medical care and emergency services.

Having-a-Baby-In-GreeceExpats Talk about What it's Like Having a Baby in Greece

Read recent baby reports submitted for Athens and Athens.

If you're an expat parent who had a baby abroad, write a report about your childbirth experiences to help other expecting expat parents.

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