Issues of health and general well-being are of a great importance for everyone. Therefore, in order for the researchers to be aware with the national health insurance, the medical treatment options and other relevant topics, general aspects of the Greek Health System are described.
The Greek Health Care System can be characterised as a mixed health system: the health care branches of the various social insurance funds co-exist with the National Health System of Greece (ESY).
Health System of Greece was established in 1983 guarantees free health care for all residents of Greece.
The system covers the entire Greek population, without any special entitlement condition, regardless of professional category or region. Health care services are also provided to EU and non-EU citizens on the basis of multilateral or bilateral agreements.
Furthermore, within the Health System of Greece context, primary health care services are provided through rural health centres and provincial surgeries in rural areas, the outpatient departments of regional and district hospitals, the polyclinics of the social insurance institutions and specialist in urban areas. Secondary care is provided by public hospitals, private for-profit hospitals and clinics or hospitals owned by social insurance funds.
In general, if a foreigner is working in Greece and pays social security contributions, he/she is being allowed to receive a medical card and get medical treatment and free hospitalisation.
The main groups of social insurance organizations, the size of population covered, and occupational groups covered are as follows:
- Institute of Social Insurance (IKA): 50% of the population; urban population, i.e. blue- and white-collar workers
- OGA (Organization of Agricultural Insurance): 25% of the population; rural population (i.e. agricultural workers); Civil servants: 7% of the population
- O.A.E.E (Fund for Merchants, Manufacturers and Small Businessmen): 13% of the population; merchants, manufacturers and shop owners