Health

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

There have been a number of cases of West Nile virus in Greece this year. As of 22 August, the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 11 deaths from the virus in 2018. You should consider preventative measures to minimise exposure to mosquitoes, for example using mosquito repellent when outdoors and closing doors or windows or using screens. Visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website for more information about the current transmission season and advice for travellers.

The Greek National Health system has a reciprocal agreement with the British National Health Service. You should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Greek nationals.

If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) or email overseas.healthcare@dwp.gsi.gov.uk to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). The EHIC won’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

Treatment and facilities are generally good on the mainland, but may be limited on the islands. The standards of nursing and after care, particularly in the public health sector lag behind what is normally acceptable in the UK. The public ambulance service, which will normally respond to any accident, is basic. There are severe shortages of ambulances on some islands.

While pharmacies across the country stock a good supply of medicines, you should make sure you have sufficient medical supplies (including prescription medicines) for the duration of your stay and any unforeseen delays, adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 or 166 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.