Guidance

Healthcare for UK nationals living in Greece

How to get state healthcare if you live, work or study in Greece.

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This information is about living in Greece. There’s different guidance if you’re visiting Greece.

If you’re living in Greece before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Greece will stay the same for as long as you remain legally resident.

This guidance explains what you need to do in Greece depending on your circumstances.

State healthcare in Greece is not completely free. You may still have to pay to use some parts of the healthcare system.

At the moment, UK nationals usually access the Greek healthcare system in one of these ways:

  • paying national insurance contributions if you’re registered to work in Greece
  • using a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays
  • registering a UK-issued S1 in Greece

The S1 form entitles you to access the state healthcare on the same basis as a Greek citizen. You’re entitled to an S1 if you receive a UK State Pension or certain other benefits to get an S1. Find out more about the S1 form.

Healthcare if you live and work in Greece

You must register as a resident if you want to stay in Greece for more than 3 months.

If you’re employed or self-employed in Greece, you’ll have to register with the Greek authorities and get a social insurance number.

Once you’re registered to work in Greece and make social insurance contributions, you’ll be entitled to state-run healthcare on the same basis as a Greek citizen.

Public healthcare in Greece is run by the Greek National Organisation for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY). The EOPYY website (in Greek only) has information on:

  • how to access healthcare
  • EOPYY’s local offices that cover all Greek regions
  • EOPYY-contracted doctors

For non-emergency hospital appointments, you need a referral from an EOPYY doctor, health centre or local health unit (TOMY).

If you are not working and do not have a registered S1, you’ll have to take out private health insurance.

If you’re living in Greece before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Greece will stay the same for as long as you remain legally resident.

This means you’ll continue to get state healthcare in Greece from 1 January 2021 on the same basis as a Greek resident.

You’ll also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension.

How to register

Social insurance is called AMKA in Greek. You can get an AMKA number through your local citizens service centre or KEP office (website in Greek).

Once you’ve got your AMKA, you must register online with EOPYY (website in Greek). This will give you access to state healthcare services on the same basis as a Greek citizen.

How much you’ll pay

If you’re registered with EOPYY, you can see an EOPYY doctor for free or at a reduced cost.

Treatment in a state hospital is free if you’ve been referred by an EOPYY doctor or health centre.

You’ll pay around 25% of the cost of prescriptions, depending on the medicine. You may be able to get free or reduced cost medication, for example if you have a chronic illness.

If you go to a private clinic contracted with EOPYY, only part of the cost is covered by the state. You’ll need to make a co-payment towards the cost of your treatment.

If your UK employer has sent you to Greece temporarily (‘posted workers’)

A posted worker is someone who’s employed or self-employed in the UK, and temporarily sent to another European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Currently, posted workers can use an EHIC or S1 form to access Greek healthcare. HMRC has a helpline for National Insurance enquiries from non-UK residents. They can answer questions about posted worker status and explain which documents you will need to get healthcare while posted.

There will be no changes to healthcare access for posted workers in Greece before the end of 2020. You can continue to use your EHIC or S1 during this time.

UK-funded healthcare: using an S1 form in Greece

There’s different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Greece and receive either:

  • a UK State Pension
  • some other ‘exportable benefits’

Not all UK benefits that can be claimed while abroad entitle you to UK-funded healthcare. Read more about claiming benefits if you move abroad or contact Jobcentre Plus to ask about a benefit.

You may also be entitled to an S1 form if you’re a posted worker or a frontier worker. You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if you’re eligible.

Once you have an S1 form, you must register it on the Greek system.

This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to state healthcare in Greece on the same basis as an insured Greek citizen.

How to get an S1 form

If you have a UK State Pension, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm

How to use an S1 form in Greece

You’ll need to register as a resident then get a Greek social insurance (AMKA) number through your local citizens service centre or KEP office (website in Greek).

Once you’ve got your AMKA, you can register your S1 form with the Greek National Organisation for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY, website in Greek).

This will mean you’re entitled to access state healthcare on the same basis as a Greek citizen.

UK-funded healthcare using an S1 from 1 January 2021

If you’re living in Greece before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same from 1 January 2021 if you’re either:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving another ‘exportable benefit’
  • a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another)

This means that you’ll get:

  • continued access to healthcare in Greece using your UK-issued S1 form
  • a UK-issued EHIC for travel
  • planned treatments in other EU countries via the S2 route
  • access to the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales when you’re visiting the UK

Studying in Greece

You can apply for a student EHIC. This is different from a normal EHIC and entitles you to cover for the duration of your course.

An EHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. You should have both to cover the duration of your course. Your EHIC gives you access to medically necessary state healthcare on the same basis as an insured Greek citizen.

If you started studying in Greece before the end of 2020, your EHIC will be valid for the rest of your course.

Moving back to the UK

If you return to the UK permanently you’ll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.

Read more about using the NHS when you return to live in the UK.

Published 23 September 2019