Using the EHIC in Greece
Add annual travel insurance to your travel documentation when visiting Greece. EHIC coverage is good but limited. Here’s more.
Greece has been a long standing favourite holiday destination for British travellers, not least because it is in the EU and has certain reciprocal agreements with the UK, with regards healthcare. While British citizens in possession of a valid EHIC card are entitled to healthcare when visiting Greece, there are limits to what is covered. Investing in adequate single trip or annual travel insurance is essential if you want peace of mind when travelling to Greece, or indeed any other foreign country.
Need a Doctor in Greece?
If you do not want to get stung with a huge bill when visiting a GP in Greece, find a doctor that is registered with the Greek National Organisation for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY). If you have your annual travel insurance up to date, you have much more flexibility with regards choosing a GP, whereas with just your EHIC you need an EOPYY doctor to benefit from the free or reduced cost healthcare. In short, the EHIC entitles you to the same medical care that a Greek resident would receive.
More Serious Incidents
When going away on holiday, the idea of needing hospital treatment is not usually at the forefront of your mind and thankfully serious incidents are rare. It is always best to be prepared though, and make sure you know what you need to do to avoid being charged extortionate amounts for your treatment. As long as you have your EHIC, an EOPYY doctor’s referral and are in a state-funded hospital you can rest assured that any treatment you receive will be free. The doctor who originally refers you will give you a ‘ticket’ that acts as proof of your entitlement to whatever care you require.
If in the case that you have not been able to get a referral, show your EHIC card at the hospital and the staff will be able to get in touch with the relevant people and organise everything for you.
For true peace of mind, however, which is something that cannot be underestimated in a stressful situation such as going to hospital, single trip or annual travel insurance is a small price to pay.
Recently in Greece there has been a shake up in the healthcare system and alongside the EOPYY there is now the National Primary Healthcare Network (PEDY). This establishment also entitles EU citizens to free or reduced cost healthcare, as long as a valid EHIC is shown.
Remember that should you require medical treatment when in Greece, at the very least you need your EHIC to be in date. But also note that this valuable little card has its limits. You cannot use it to claim back any private healthcare. If you prefer to use private doctors when in Greece, the advice would always be to invest in a comprehensive single trip insurance policy or indeed an annual travel insurance policy should you be planning several trips in a year.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip and annual travel insurance policies. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.