My Week in Athens… Jan 24

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015
My Week in Athens… Jan 24
Hey Guys. Love getting your newsletters, they’re always interesting and informative. I don’t usually write in to newspapers or magazines, but I thought I’d send a short email about a recent experience with the medical system in Greece.

I’ve been living in Greece for about 5 years. I’ve had my ups and downs with the ‘system’ and know that it’s not up to par with a lot of other places in the world. Even though I now know what to expect, there are still some things that make my hair stand up. So here’s my story…

I’m a first time mom and my son is just about 8 months old. I gave birth at a public hospital (yes, it was just fine) and have since been taking advantage of my IKA insurance (pension & health insurance for private sector employees). You may remember some weeks back that pharmacies were not accepting prescriptions from IKA insurance holders. What does this mean? Well…

When I went to my doctor’s office to get a prescription for my son’s upcoming vaccine shot, I was told that it cannot be issued because pharmacies will not accept it. If this was something my brain couldn’t compute, then what she said next nearly nocked me off my chair: ‘Unless of course you ‘know someone’ with a pharmacy who will give you the vaccine shot without paying and then take them the prescription at a later date.’ Did I hear correctly, did my doctor just tell me that I need a ‘meson’ (an inside source) to get my son’s vaccine shot? Was she for real? Ah, but yes, she was very serious.

Because I didn’t ‘know someone’ with a pharmacy, I paid for the vaccine shot at my local pharmacy in hopes that once this disagreement between IKA and pharmacists was over, I could claim my 70 Euro!

Should I tell you about my experience when I tried to claim 70 Euro from IKA? Let me put it this way…3 floors (up and down the stairs because the elevator wasn’t working), 4 booths with very ‘happy to greet me’ employees, and some 5 different pieces of paper. Needless to say, I did eventually get my claim made.

Ah, and despite all these wonderful (and eventful) stories I still continue to want to be here. Go figure! There’s just something about this crazy place that makes it stick!

Cheers from First Time Mommy in Athens.

In this weekly space, keep up with ‘Jack’ as he navigates daily life in Athens… Anecdotes, stories, hits & misses, the good, the bad and, well, the rest…