If you need to see a specialist you don’t need a referral from your doctor. Specialists generally have waiting lists, but if it’s urgent you can usually pay to see a private specialist and claim up to 85 per cent of the cost from IKA afterwards. Free home visits by doctors are uncommon, although you can arrange one for a small fee.
Emergency treatment is free to all nationalities in public hospitals and there are outpatient clinics (yatr’a) attached to hospitals in rural areas. They’re typically open from 8am to noon and treat minor health problems and it’s often easier to obtain prompt emergency treatment here than at a public hospital.
There are 24-hour emergency hospitals in major towns and on the large islands, and private hospitals and clinics in major towns and resort areas. English-speaking Greek doctors and foreign doctors practise in resort areas and major cities, and advertise in the local expatriate press. In a medical emergency you should phone 166 for an ambulance.
Pharmacists are highly qualified in Greece and you can obtain treatment for minor ailments at chemists ( farmak’o) as well as medical advice. In larger towns and resort areas, pharmacists often speak English.
Pharmacies aren’t usually open in the afternoon or at weekends, but a duty roster is posted in pharmacy windows and published in the local press indicating the nearest pharmacy that's open outside normal business hours.
Homeopathic remedies are widespread and there are homeopathic pharmacies in most large towns.