Greece E-Tracking Health Costs for Visiting EU Citizens, Foreigners

(FILE -EUROKINISSI/TATIANA BOLARI)

ATHENS – Trying to get a handle on costs, Greece’s new Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias from the ruling New Democracy has had sent to public hospitals and healthcare facilities a notice that an electronic system will be implemented to record all expenses for treating European Union citizens, foreign visitors, migrants and others.

EU citizens holding health cards from the bloc’s 28 countries can receive health care and have the costs reimbursed by their governments and Kikilias, a physician, said he wants to make sure Greece is repaid or bill those who don’t have the coverage, said Naftemporiki.

In a statement, Kikilias said that “not a euro of Greek taxpayers’ money will be squandered. Greek taxpayers will no longer pay for services provided by ESY (the national healthcare entity) to foreign (insurance fund) beneficiaries”.

The notice advises how administrative staff at Greek public hospitals and clinics can have the bills paid by the countries of visitors from the EU as well as cases involving dependents of Greek citizens or foreign nationals of Greek descent.

Non-EU citizens with legal residency in Greece will have their bills sent to Greece’s main insurance and health fund, EOPYY, with hospitals hit so hard during a 9 ½-year-long economic and austerity crisis they can’t afford toilet paper or paper towels.

A fourth category are cases involving the provision of healthcare services to non-EU citizens where the subsequent transfer of the costs to their home countries is unavailable, having them billed directly instead for payment.