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Society

Across EU, Greeks Least Likely to Visit Doctor

February 28, 2019

There was no mention of the dreaded “fakelaki,” a little envelope in which bribes are put to get better service, but Greeks have the worst record in the European Union for visiting doctor for care.

That was the result of a survey in 2017 by the European statistics agency Eurostat that showed the level of reluctance was the highest in the 28 countries in the bloc, as a nearly nine-year-old economic crisis has also devastated the health care sector

Eurostat’s report showed 60.5 percent of Greeks had not had a doctor’s checkup in the 12 months prior to the survey and that only 9.2 percent had visited the doctor three to five times over the year, while another 26.5 percent had done so once or twice.

On average, 25 percent of EU citizens said they had not visited a general practitioner or a family doctor over the period, while 38 percent had at least once and 25 percent said they went to the doctor between three and five times, while 14 percent said they visited a doctor six or more times. It Greece, it was a paltry 3.8 percent.

Denmark, where healthcare is free and high quality, was the country with the highest rate of visits to the doctor, with 49 percent saying they had done so at least six times. Greece has a quasi-universal health care system but it’s funded through payments from wages and thousands have been left without insurance.

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