Majority of Greeks pay from their own pockets for health care services, an average of 300 euros per year for doctors’ visits and laboratory and diagnostic tests. At the same time, 21 percent say they did not receive medical care they needed mainly because mainly of the cost.
The nationwide survey HELLAS HEALTH VII took place in May-June 2017 on a representative sample of 1,000 adults across the country. The results give a clear picture about the state of health and access to health services as well as to medicine consumption and the level of vaccination coverage.
For Greeks the cost of health care remains a major problem.
62% of respondents said that they pay for health care services
21% of respondents said they did not receive medical care they needed, mainly because of the cost (53%), negligence (11%) and long waiting (11%).
Majority of respondents (37%) said they seek doctors assigned with the National Healthcare System (EOPYY), 19% doctors in public hospitals, 7% to public health centers (PEDY) and 23% private doctors.
In the average a Greek pays €300 from own pockets for visiting doctors, for laboratory and diagnostic checks. Analytically: 170 euros for visits to doctors, 75 euros for dentists and 50 euros for laboratory and diagnostic tests.
Access to medicine even to prescription drugs lays heavy on citizens’ pockets, even if they are insured due to the high self-participation cost.
- 45% of respondents said they were very worried about covering the cost of prescription drugs.
This cost was a major problem for 28% and a small problem for 21% of respondents in 2016.
- 42% said they spend 10-50 euros per month for prescription drugs,
- 35% less than 10 euros
- 8% 50-100 euros
- 3% 100-200 euros
- 1% 200-500 euros
- only 10% get their medications with 0% participation.
Over-consumption of antibiotics:
The survey revealed that 30% of visits to the pharmacy in the month of the survey (May-June 2017) concerned the supply of prescription drugs without prescription, of which 35% was for the purchase of antibiotics.
36% said they know generic drugs very well or fairly well, but 38% said they do not know that they cost 2/3 of the price of the prototypes.
- 23% said they trust them a lot or quite a lot
- 19% said they always buy generic
- 42% said they prefer generics only if the amount of money they can say is high
- 27% prefer the original medicine regardless of the price.
94% of children are fully vaccinated, while adults vaccination is rare.
Analytically: most childhood vaccinations take place in private clinics.
15% reported difficulty in attempting to vaccinate their children due to shortage (64%), cost (34%), difficulties to get an a appointment (10%).
Despite the high rate of vaccination coverage for children, only 24% of the parents have vaccinated their children against the HPV virus.
- 19% do not know that adults have to be vaccinated
- 27% have never been vaccinated in their adult life.
- 23% do not know if they belong to a high-risk group for pulmonary infections
- 78% are unaware of the HPV vaccine, mainly due to a lack of information (76%)
Of those vaccinated: 30% were vaccinated for influenza, 25% for diphtheria / tetanus / whooping cough, 15% for pneumococcus and 14% for hepatitis B.
The impact of the anti-vaccination movement: At the time of the survey, 10% believed that vaccine risks were greater than the benefits. 58% of those who did not vaccinate their children reported their disagreement and possible side effects as their main reason.
The survey was conducted in collaboration with the Metron Analysis, the Center for the Study of Health Services of the Medical School of the University of Athens and the support of several pharmaceutical companies.
PS I am curious about the respondents’ profile in health insurance, for example, the rate of those who were insured or not.