Applying For The European
Health Insurance Card (EHIC) In Greece

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Known for being the birthplace of democracy including the democratic principles that have helped shape the history of man, Greece continues to play a major role in shaping mankind’s existence. Tourists and scholars alike visit the many architectural wonders of Athens and the interesting sites of other famous destinations like the island of Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Chalkidice, and Corfu. Perhaps what really appeals to most tourists is the nation’s world famous beaches that are washed by the warm, crystal clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. For many tourists, nothing compares to the excellent mixture of history and leisure in Greece.

Greeks are also well known for their delectable cuisine, always preferring classic and simple dishes that venerate the freshness of local ingredients rather than masking these with unnecessary spices and flavorings. The warm hospitality of the Greeks is well recognized making a holiday vacation truly worthwhile.

Taking every precaution you can to safeguard your health is paramount to enjoying the full benefits of a Greek holiday. You can bring your first aid kit with you as well as your prescription medications, if any. However, as in any venture into a foreign land, there may be events or circumstances that you cannot plan for. You may end up in a medical situation where your first aid kit is simply not built for. For this, your best bet is the European Health Insurance Card. It is a very useful card given to nationals of countries that are signatories to the European Economic Area. This also includes Switzerland although it is not a member of the EEA but has strong mutual agreements with member nations.

EHIC renewal allows you to receive medical care in any public healthcare facility or professional in Greece in the same manner that Greek nationals are entitled to. So, if Greeks receive free treatment for a particular disease or medical condition, showing your EHIC will also guarantee you the same privilege. Likewise, if Greeks will be paying for a particular service or treatment, then you are also expected to pay the same amount.

If you suddenly develop a medical condition that requires emergency management, you can dial 112. If you require an ambulance service – the National Emergency Aid Center or EKAB – to be dispatched to pick you up and bring you to the nearest state or public hospital, then you will dial 116. This is absolutely free of charge. The emergency number for police assistance is 100.

If a medic is providing the treatment, make sure that he or she has a valid contract with the Greek National Organization for Healthcare Services Provision, otherwise known as the EOPPY. If a doctor will be managing your treatment regimen, make sure that he or she is a member of the PEDY or the Greek Primary National Health Network or is contracted by the EOPPY. This helps ensure that any treatment you receive will be covered by EHIC if not absolutely free, then at a reduced cost.

Now, it is important to realize that the EHIC is primarily designed to allow EEA nationals and Swiss nationals to fully enjoy their holiday travels in any of the participating countries of the European Heath Insurance system by providing the nationals of each member country healthcare access in the host country as the nationals of that country are entitled to receive. That said, if the purpose of your travel is to specifically seek treatment, then this is not covered by the EHIC. Instead, you will need a separate private insurance for that. Also, if you seek medical attention from a healthcare provider who is not contracted by the EOPPY or is not part of the PEDY, then you will have to shoulder the expenses yourself or use your own private health insurance.

Treatments for long-standing or pre-existing medical conditions are covered by EHIC, however. For example, if you require regular monitoring of your blood lipid profile as well as cardiovascular status, this can be covered by EHIC. If you are also pregnant and may require routine maternal care, then this is also covered. As long as you did not go to Greece just to get treatment or to give birth, then your medical condition can be covered by EHIC.

Greece has a lot of interesting tourist destinations to offer for whole families to enjoy. To make the most of any holiday, it is best to go well prepared. Get your EHIC now. Apply for your loved ones as well so you can guarantee the best times in your life.