Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

Here’s a healthy tip

Here’s a healthy tip

The reason we went over to Rhodes last week was to get our annual health checks done. This is a basic check-up we do every year as a preventative thing, and before signing up with AXA health insurance, we used to do it on our own, though not as regularly or successfully. One of the great things about living in Greece is that there are many highly qualified specialist and private doctors running private practices, but also working for the state, I guess. If you feel you want to see a cardiologist or whoever, you can usually make an appointment for the same or next day; at least, soon after and with no need to be referred and wait months as you do in some countries. Obviously, you pay (and the state system is free for those with national health insurance etc.), but prices only tend to be around €50.00 for a consultation.

This is the view from the 'bicycle café' as I call it, on the way to Akandia port. Lovely place.

This is the view from the ‘bicycle café’ as I call it, on the way to Akandia port. Lovely place.

Our annual trip is now part of my health insurance scheme, and it’s all done in one place, Euromedica. This is the privet hospital on Rhodes and is now under new management. I know it was February, but it was quiet, and we didn’t have to wait long in any of the three departments we visited. While I was waiting, though, I was visited by Yiannis, the new Communications Manager for the hospital. He introduced himself, told me his job and was generally chatting to patients to hear their experiences of the place. Like most of the Euromedica staff, he spoke fluent English and was very affable. We were warmly greeted by the receptionist and doctors who know our insurance agent well (our ‘best mother’, according to the staff), and she came with us to see to the paperwork, and so another headache dispensed with.

You can watch your boat arrive.

You can watch your boat arrive.

You can find out about AXA and other health insurance companies online. When I first investigated, I looked to see which ones worked with Euromedica, as it’s our nearest private hospital and followed the trail from their website. Your policy and acceptance will depend on age and state of health, plus other factors, so it’s no use me telling you what I pay as it will be different for each, but I would advise, the earlier you can take a policy, the better. I was 51 when I started, and the amount I pay is equivalent to the amount of IKA that was paid per month when I was working. Obviously, I don’t get pension and other benefits from that as you might with IKA, but I do get worldwide health insurance, and, I must say, a brilliant service. After the end of this year, Brits in Greece will either have to have IKA (or similar state scheme if you are working or already registered here and retired) or private health insurance, so now might be a good time to start looking.