Salaried workers and pensioners in Greece who have IKA are entitled to receive pharmaceuticals at no cost from the state system EOPYY, if a doctor has prescribed them. In some cases, natural remedies, vitamins and other nutritional supplements may be covered.
*Article last updated July 1, 2013
What to do
1. Call and make an appointment with an IKA/EOPYY doctor
2. Make certain your IKA health book (Βιβλιάριο Υγείας/Bibliario Ygeias) accurately reflects the amount of ensima you earned and bring the book to the appointment as proof you have coverage
3. Discuss your symptoms and needs
4. Get a written prescription, signed and stamped by the doctor*
5. Take identification (Greek ID/tautotita or passport fom any country), the prescription and your IKA health book (Βιβλιάριο Υγείας/Bibliario Ygeias) to a pharmacy and present them. Your AMKA should be written inside your health book, or you should be carrying an AMKA card.
6. The pharmacist takes your paper, dispenses and explains your prescription, perhaps has you sign a log. You pay nothing.
*Note: As of June 29, 2010, only prescription drugs approved by OEF are covered by IKA. Many patients must now pay out of pocket for necessary medicine.
Why many people don’t bother
– Many people are uninformed about who to call and what to do
– Adept, experienced pharmacists can often diagnose symptoms and make informed recommendations
– Medication is often inexpensive and easily obtained over-the-counter without a prescription
– Too much trouble: By the time an appointment is set, many symptoms pass or get worse; some people are unable to transport themselves or take time off from work; sometimes it’s just laziness.
* It is imperative you consult experienced medical professionals in treating any illness. Until you are well informed and able to distinguish what pharmacists are reliable and highly experienced, it is recommended you see a doctor. Your health is precious and not worth endangering at all costs.
A program issuing e-prescriptions in Greece began October 18, 2010; and a centralized database links IKA and all IKA pharmacies in Greece as of 2012. The new system provides the following conveniences:
— Electronic storage of scanned prescriptions, claims and statements
— Automated recognition and cross-checking of prescriptions, minimizing risk and issuing warnings
— Automated payments/reimbursements to pharmacies
— Accurate reporting of pharmaceutical use and expenditures to government institutions and NGOs
— Monitoring prescriptions by medical facility, municipality, region.
Tax on prescription medicine is now 6.5 percent. See “VAT in Greece” for more information.
If the pharmacy or hospital does not carry the medication you require, you or the pharmacist can call ‘1142’ to report it.
In the News
“New prices on medicines and drugs” – Ta Nea (Sept 2009)
“Ηλεκτρονικό σύστημα διαχείρισης συνταγών φαρμάκων από το ΙΚΑ” — Kathimerini (Oct 2009)
“Έως και 27% οι μειώσεις τιμών στο νέο δελτίο φαρμάκων” — Eleftherotypia (April 2010)
“Τέλος στην κάλυψη δαπανών φαρμάκων χωρίς ιατρική συνταγή” — Eleftherotypia (May 2010)
“Οι ασθενείς πληρώνουν μόνοι τους τα φάρμακα λόγω περικοπών” — Eleftherotypia
“«Φρένο» στις εξαγωγές φαρμάκων λόγω ελλείψεων” — SKAI
Photo from psychtreatment.com