As of 2011, Greek nationals were privy to one of the most consistent and efficient healthcare systems both within Europe and worldwide. The National Health Insurance plan provided by the National Healthcare Service is a universal healthcare scheme available to all residents. Emergency care is free in all public hospitals for all nationalities. Medical laboratory services are free to all Greece residents. Maternity care and medical devices are subsidized.
Greece has historically had an excellent reputation with regard to healthcare, ranking 14th across the world in the year 2000, according to reports published by the World Health Organization. However, the economic crisis it experienced post 2011, saw a number of revisions to the public healthcare plan made, as the country sought to introduce economic austerity measures. Greek citizens who are not employed are only privy to public healthcare for up to a year before their coverage expires. Employed Greek citizens continue to receive full coverage though.
The move towards economic austerity has also resulted in a rise in the cost of medications. In spite of this, prescription medication remains highly subsidized with patients having to pay only 25% of the original cost. Also, despite the fact that the Government healthcare reform plan looked to reduce the availability of healthcare to citizens, the quality of the medical infrastructure in Greece remains at the highest standard.
Recently, the Government of Greece, upon receiving aid from the European Union, is looking to implement a number of measures that work towards improving the existing facilities within hospitals in Greece, as well as opening new hospitals across the country.
Hospitals and Doctors Standards in Greece
Public hospitals in Greece are among the cleanest and most well equipped across Europe. Hygeia Hospital in Athens has achieved international accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI) – the apex accreditation worldwide in the field of Quality & Security of Health Services.
In urgent situations, treatment can be expedited through the appointment of specialists, with the patient reimbursing up to 85% of the medical fees. Also, in emergency situations, healthcare is provided free of charge at any public hospital. Smaller outpatient clinics, accessible from more rural areas, are also adept at providing emergency care to those in need of it. Greece’s public and private healthcare system work successfully and in tandem with each other in order to accommodate the medical needs of its citizens.
Doctors and pharmacists in Greece are highly trained. Private medical institutions typically hire doctors who have studied and practiced in countries that uphold high medical standards, such as the United Kingdom and the US. Medical tourists can benefit from the fact that most private doctors are bilingual and fluent in English.
The quality of the medical treatment provided in private hospitals is world-class. Greek hospitals are held in high regard, particularly for the levels of hygiene and cleanliness they maintain. There is a large emphasis on maintaining excellent working conditions. Moreover, hospitals are well staffed and organized, adopting hierarchies that include numerous levels of support and supervision.
More information about healthcare and medical tourism in Greece
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