For the first time ever, tourists entering Greece will soon have to pay a surcharge of 20 euros for health services which they incur during their stay in the country, if newly- proposed legislation is approved by Parliament. Up until now, travelers to the country had never paid anything at all for medical care in Greece, regardless of where in the world they may have hailed from, except for hospitalizations.
All services rendered have historically been completely free of charge; the only exception to that was when travelers actually had been hospitalized during their stay in Greece.
According to an article on the Greek website healthreport.gr, Greece’s Health Ministry ruled at the end of July that from this point forward, the fee will be imposed on all foreign travelers who present themselves at health centers, regional clinics and outpatient clinics of hospitals.
Those who take advantage of emergency care will also be obliged to pay the fee for services rendered to them. Additional fees will be imposed for those who need blood tests and other types of screenings, in accordance with the charges that are determined by the national Greek healthcare system.
These new fees also apply to those who reside in Greece but are considered “non-permanent” residents of the country.
According to the report, the nation’s Health Ministry hopes to collect “significant funds,” most obviously during the tourist season, when Greece sees millions of tourists come into the country.
The new ruling alters the provisions of a law passed in 2017 which allows for the collection of funds to repay hospitals only for the services they provide.
The test to determine positivity to the coronavirus is generally below 50 euros in public hospitals but this fee can vary in private institutions.