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Useful Greece Information

Greek Healthcare Overview

Moving from the UK to Greece can bring about changes in many aspects of life, including healthcare. Greece offers a universal healthcare system that provides coverage to all citizens and legal residents, similar to the NHS in the UK. Here’s what you need to know about healthcare in Greece if you’re making the move:

Access to Healthcare: In Greece, healthcare services are provided through a combination of public and private facilities. Public healthcare is funded through social insurance contributions, taxes, and patient co-payments. Citizens and legal residents are entitled to free or low-cost healthcare services through the public system, including doctor visits, hospital treatment, and prescription medications. As a legal resident, you’ll have access to the public healthcare system upon registration with the local authorities and obtaining a social security number.

Quality of Care: The quality of healthcare in Greece varies depending on the region and the facility. In major cities and tourist areas, you can find modern hospitals and well-equipped clinics staffed by highly trained medical professionals. However, in rural areas, healthcare infrastructure may be more limited, and you may encounter longer wait times for non-emergency services.

Language Barrier: While many healthcare professionals in Greece speak English, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations, there may still be instances where language barriers pose challenges, particularly in smaller towns and villages. It’s advisable to learn some basic Greek phrases related to healthcare to facilitate communication with medical staff.

Health Insurance: Although public healthcare in Greece is available to all legal residents, many people opt for private health insurance to supplement their coverage. Private health insurance can provide access to a wider range of services, shorter wait times, and greater flexibility in choosing doctors and hospitals. If you’re planning to move to Greece, it’s worth considering private health insurance to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Prescription Medications: In Greece, prescription medications are available at pharmacies, which are plentiful in urban areas. However, some medications that are readily available in the UK may require a prescription in Greece. It’s a good idea to consult with a local doctor to ensure continuity of any ongoing treatments or medications.

Overall, while there may be differences in the healthcare systems between the UK and Greece, expatriates can expect to receive quality medical care in Greece, with access to both public and private healthcare options. By familiarizing yourself with the healthcare system and seeking appropriate insurance coverage, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your healthcare needs are covered in your new home.


Retiring to Greece from the United Kingdom

Moving to Greece from the UK as a retiree can be an exciting opportunity to enjoy a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle amidst stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Here’s what you need to consider:

Healthcare: Greece offers a universal healthcare system, providing coverage to all citizens and legal residents. As a retiree, you’ll be entitled to access the public healthcare system upon registration with the local authorities and obtaining a social security number. It’s advisable to also consider private health insurance to supplement your coverage and ensure access to a wider range of services and shorter wait times.

Cost of Living: The cost of living in Greece can be lower than in the UK, particularly outside major cities and tourist areas. Property prices, groceries, dining out, and utilities are generally more affordable. However, it’s essential to consider factors such as exchange rates, taxes, and healthcare expenses when planning your budget.

Climate and Lifestyle: Greece boasts a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters, making it an ideal destination for those seeking sunshine and outdoor activities. The relaxed pace of life, delicious cuisine, and strong sense of community are characteristic of Greek culture and contribute to a fulfilling retirement experience.

Language and Culture: While many Greeks speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning some basic Greek phrases can enhance your integration and cultural experience. Embracing the local customs, traditions, and way of life can enrich your retirement in Greece and foster connections with the community.

Financial Considerations: Before making the move, it’s essential to review your financial situation, including pensions, investments, and any additional sources of income. Consider consulting with a financial advisor to ensure your finances are in order and to explore tax implications, currency exchange, and pension transfers.

Major banks include National Bank of Greece, Alpha Banks and Piraeus Bank. You’ll need a Greek tax number (AMF) to open a bank account.

Overall, retiring in Greece offers the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle in a beautiful setting, with access to quality healthcare, affordable living costs, and a rich cultural experience. By planning ahead and embracing the local way of life, you can make the most of your retirement years in the Mediterranean.


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